Mercedes Vario

52501- 564  R501-7CNP, S508-554,955 556-64SWP 

In the 1998 First Midland Red ordered 64 Mercedes Vario Minibuses with Plaxton bodies All of the buses officially entered service in Worcester on Sunday 1st August 1998 though many were not actually used until the following day. The first seven were registered ahead of the rest and were given "R" prefix registrations for use as driver trainers. Vehicles 501-3 were used in service in June 1998 for a temporary Park and Ride for Green Transport Week. The vehicles were designed to be 26-seaters though agreement could not be reached with the drivers who demanded an extra 15p an hour to drive them so First Midland Red had the vehicles built as 22-seaters with a large luggage pen to avoid having to pay the extra money to the drivers. In January 2000 the first two vehicles (501 & 502) were moved to Redditch depot and the following year during April and May 2001 another 5 were moved to Kidderminster (vehicles 503 - 507) to cover routes in Droitwich, which were transferred from Worcester Garage because of driver shortages at the later garage. Between September 2001 and April 2002 vehicles 508, 525, 561 and 562 individually each spent time running from Evesham Garage. Vehicle 503 became the first to carry the new Barbie2 livery in February 2002. In November 2002, more of the Worcester allocated vehicles moved to Kidderminster. Vehicle 560 was used in January 2003 to transport drivers who were loaned on a weekly basis to First Essex buses at Chelmsford - The vehicle may have actually seen service in Chelmsford though this has never been confirmed! On 4th April 2003 vehicles 560 and 561 were put into store at Redditch but by the end of the month 560 was back in service and was quickly followed by 561.  Towards the end of April 2003 a start was made on moving vehicles from the end of the batch to Hereford as they were to be made surplus at Worcester by the introduction of the new Optare Solo minibuses. However, this process is somewhat slow as the new Optare Solo vehicles have proved to be unreliable. From Monday 15th September 2003 501 and 502 were re-allocated to Kidderminster Garage. 523/58/9 moved to Hereford Garage over the weekend of the 27th and 28th September 2003 bring to an end the use of manual gearbox minibuses at Hereford. Following service changes in Kidderminster from Monday 9th February 2004 three of the Vario minibuses became surplus and were sold to First Glasgow. These were R505/7CNP and S508SWP which were renumbered MA271-3 respectively by their new owner. First Glasgow initially allocated them to the following garages MA271 to Dumbarton, MA272 to Cumbermauld and MA273 to Larkfield.

Registration Number

Fleet Number

Old Fleet Number

Body Make

Seating Capacity

Date into Service

Allocation

Livery

R501CNP

52501

501

Plaxton

B22F

Jun-98

Withdrawn October 2008 - To First Leicester 11/08

Barbie3 (10/08)

R502CNP

52502

502

Plaxton

B22F

Jun-98

Unallocated 4/09 - Re-instated 7/09 until 9/09 for use on Rail Replacement contract - withdrawn 3/11 -sold for scrap 3/11

Barbie2 (8/02)

R503CNP

52503

503

Plaxton

B22F

Jun-98

Unallocated 4/09 - In store at Kidderminster

Barbie2 (2/02)

R504CNP

52504

504

Plaxton

B22F

Jun-98

Withdrawn 31/8/08 - Sold to First Leicester 12/08

Barbie3 (10/08)

R505CNP

52505

505

Plaxton

B22F

Jun-98

Sold to First Glasgow 16/02/04 - renumbered MA271

Red & Cream

R506CNP

52506

506

Plaxton

B22F

Jun-98

Withdrawn 7/05 - Sold to First Glasgow 8/05 Now with Ryan 3/07 as a B29F

Barbie2 (2/02)

R507CNP

52507

507

Plaxton

B22F

Jun-98

Sold to First Glasgow 16/02/04 - renumbered MA272

Red & Cream

S508RWP

52508

508

Plaxton

B22F

Aug-98

Sold to First Glasgow 16/02/04 - renumbered MA273

Red & Cream

S509RWP

52509

509

Plaxton

B22F

Aug-98

Withdrawn and sold to First Devon & Cornwall - February 2004

Red & Cream

S510RWP

52510

510

Plaxton

B22F

Aug-98

Withdrawn and sold to First Devon & Cornwall - February 2004 - exported to Poland 2/08 via Erith Commercials converted to left hand drive

Red & Cream

S511RWP

52511

511

Plaxton

B22F

Aug-98

Sold to PVS Barnsley for scrap - December 2009 after being partly dismantled at Kidderminster

Red & Cream

S512RWP

52512

512

Plaxton

B22F

Aug-98

Withdrawn 7/05 - Sold to First Glasgow 8/05 then to Munden S Bristol reseated to DP28F then to Bryne South Ireland who have re-registered it 98-KE-8880

Barbie2 (3/02)

S513RWP

52513

513

Plaxton

B22F

Aug-98

Withdrawn 12/04 - Sold to First Hampshire and Dorset 5/07

Red & Cream

S514RWP

52514

514

Plaxton

B22F

Aug-98

Withdrawn 7/04 - sold to First Devon & Cornwall

Red & Cream

S515RWP

52515

515

Plaxton

B22F

Aug-98

Withdrawn 11/04 - sold to First Devon & Cornwall

Barbie2 (3/02)

S516RWP

52516

516

Plaxton

B22F

Aug-98

Withdrawn and sold to First Devon & Cornwall - February 2004 then to  Erith Commercials 8/07 to Healy, Rochfortbridge re-registered 98-WH-4075

Red & Cream

S517RWP

52517

517

Plaxton

B22F

Aug-98

Withdrawn 13/5/06 - Sold to First Hampshire and Dorset 5/07

Barbie2 (1/03)

S518RWP

52518

518

Plaxton

B22F

Aug-98

Withdrawn 7/05 - Sold to First Glasgow 8/05

Barbie2 (4/02)

S519RWP

52519

519

Plaxton

B22F

Aug-98

Withdrawn 12/04 and sold to First Devon & Cornwall - February 2005 - Sold to Erith Commercials for scrap 1/10

Barbie2 (1/03)

S520RWP

52520

520

Plaxton

B22F

Aug-98

Withdrawn 7/05 - Sold to First Glasgow 8/05 - Now with Peters, Bristol 11/06 reseated B27F and re-registered S333AJP exported to Zimbabwe 7/09

Barbie2 (1/03)

S521RWP

52521

521

Plaxton

B22F

Aug-98

Withdrawn 7/05 - Sold to First Glasgow 8/05 - exported to Southern Ireland 12/06 as 98-OY-3099

Barbie2 (1/02)

S522RWP

52522

522

Plaxton

B22F

Aug-98

Withdrawn 10/04 - sold to First Devon & Cornwall then to  Erith Commercials 8/07

Red & Cream

S523RWP

52523

523

Plaxton

B22F

Aug-98

Withdrawn 7/04 - sold to First Devon & Cornwall - Sold to Erith Commercials for scrap 1/10

Red & Cream

S524RWP

52524

524

Plaxton

B22F

Aug-98

Withdrawn 12/04 - sold to First Devon & Cornwall 1/05 exported to Poland 8/07 via Erith Commercials converted to left hand drive

Barbie2 (1/02)

S525RWP

52525

525

Plaxton

B22F

Aug-98

Withdrawn 10/04 - sold to First Devon & Cornwall

Red & Cream

S526RWP

52526

526

Plaxton

B22F

Aug-98

Withdrawn 9/04 - Loaned to First Northampton during 10/04 then sold to First Devon & Cornwall 10/04

Red & Cream

S527RWP

52527

527

Plaxton

B22F

Aug-98

Withdrawn 11/04 - sold to First Devon & Cornwall

Barbie2 (5/02)

S528RWP

52528

528

Plaxton

B22F

Aug-98

Withdrawn 8/04 - sold to First Devon & Cornwall - Sold to Erith Commercials for scrap 8/09

Red & Cream

S529RWP

52529

529

Plaxton

B22F

Aug-98

Withdrawn 12/04 and sold to First Devon & Cornwall - February 2005 now reseated to B27F - Preserved 9/09

Barbie2 (6/02)

S530RWP

52530

530

Plaxton

B22F

Aug-98

Withdrawn 8/04 - sold to First Devon & Cornwall

Red & Cream

S531RWP

52531

531

Plaxton

B22F

Aug-98

Withdrawn 7/04 - sold to First Devon & Cornwall

Red & Cream

S532RWP

52532

532

Plaxton

B22F

Aug-98

Withdrawn 7/04 - sold to First Devon & Cornwall moved to First Somerset & Avon 9/09

Red & Cream

S533RWP

52533

533

Plaxton

B22F

Aug-98

Withdrawn - Sold to First Hampshire and Dorset 3/07

Barbie2 (7/02)

S534RWP

52534

534

Plaxton

B22F

Aug-98

Withdrawn 10/04 - sold to First Devon & Cornwall 10/04 - Sold to Erith Commercials for scrap 9/09

Red & Cream

S535RWP

52535

535

Plaxton

B22F

Aug-98

Withdrawn 9/04 - Loaned to First Northampton during 10/04 then sold to First Devon & Cornwall 10/04 - Sold to Erith Commercials for scrap 1/10

Red & Cream

S536RWP

52536

536

Plaxton

B22F

Aug-98

Withdrawn 11/04 - sold to First Devon & Cornwall - 11/04

Barbie2 (8/02)

S537RWP

52537

537

Plaxton

B22F

Aug-98

Withdrawn 10/04 - sold to First Devon & Cornwall then to  Erith Commercials 8/07 - exported to South Ireland as 98-OY-3165 9/07

Red & Cream

S538RWP

52538

538

Plaxton

B22F

Aug-98

Withdrawn 7/04 - sold to First Devon & Cornwall then to  Erith Commercials 8/07

Red & Cream

S539RWP

52539

539

Plaxton

B22F

Aug-98

Withdrawn 10/04 - sold to First Devon & Cornwall - 10/04

Barbie2 (8/02)

S540RWP

52540

540

Plaxton

B22F

Aug-98

Withdrawn 5/04 and sold to First Devon & Cornwall - 6/6/04

Red & Cream

S541RWP

52541

541

Plaxton

B22F

Aug-98

Withdrawn 5/04 and sold to First Devon & Cornwall - 6/6/04

Red & Cream

S542RWP

52542

542

Plaxton

B22F

Aug-98

Withdrawn 11/04 - sold to First Devon & Cornwall then to  Erith Commercials 8/07

Barbie2 (9/02)

S543RWP

52543

543

Plaxton

B22F

Aug-98

Withdrawn 5/04 and sold to First Devon & Cornwall - 6/6/04 then to  Erith Commercials 8/07

Red & Cream

S544RWP

52544

544

Plaxton

B22F

Aug-98

Withdrawn 5/04 and sold to First Devon & Cornwall - 6/6/04 then to  Erith Commercials 7/07

Red & Cream

S545RWP

52545

545

Plaxton

B22F

Aug-98

Withdrawn 5/04 and sold to First Devon & Cornwall - 6/6/04 then to  Erith Commercials 7/07

Red & Cream

S546RWP

52546

546

Plaxton

B22F

Aug-98

Withdrawn 5/04 and sold to First Devon & Cornwall - 6/6/04 then to  Erith Commercials 8/07

Red & Cream

S547RWP

52547

547

Plaxton

B22F

Aug-98

Withdrawn and sold to First Devon & Cornwall - February 2004 - Sold to Erith Commercials for scrap 1/10

Red & Cream

S548RWP

52548

548

Plaxton

B22F

Aug-98

Withdrawn and sold to First Devon & Cornwall - February 2004 then to  Erith Commercials 8/07

Red & Cream

S549RWP

52549

549

Plaxton

B22F

Aug-98

Withdrawn 5/04 and sold to First Devon & Cornwall - 6/6/04

Red & Cream

S550RWP

52550

550

Plaxton

B22F

Aug-98

Withdrawn 1/05 and sold to First Devon & Cornwall - 2/05 - Sold to Erith Commercials for scrap 9/09

Barbie2 (6/03)

S551RWP

52551

551

Plaxton

B22F

Aug-98

Withdrawn and sold to First Devon & Cornwall - April 2004 - Sold to Erith Commercials for scrap 1/10

Barbie2 (8/03)

S552RWP

52552

552

Plaxton

B22F

Aug-98

Withdrawn 12/04 and sold to First Devon & Cornwall - 2/05 - Sold to Erith Commercials for scrap 1/10 scraped 8/10

Barbie2 (7/03)

S553RWP

52553

553

Plaxton

B22F

Aug-98

Withdrawn 6/05 - Sold to First Coaches 11/05

Barbie2 (6/03)

S554RWP

52554

554

Plaxton

B22F

Aug-98

Withdrawn 6/05 - Sold to First Coaches 11/05

Red & Cream

S955RWP

52555

555

Plaxton

B22F

Aug-98

Withdrawn 8/06 - Sold to First Hampshire and Dorset 3/07 - withdrawn 1/11 Sold to Erith Commercials for scrap 9/11

Barbie2 (7/03)

S556RWP

52556

556

Plaxton

B22F

Aug-98

Withdrawn (9/07) - Truronian for spares 10/08 - Sold to Erith Commercials for scrap 9/09

Barbie2 (6/03)

S557RWP

52557

557

Plaxton

B22F

Aug-98

Withdrawn and sold to First Devon & Cornwall - April 2004

Red & Cream

S558RWP

52558

558

Plaxton

B22F

Aug-98

Withdrawn - Sold to First Hampshire and Dorset 5/07

Red & Cream

S559RWP

52559

559

Plaxton

B22F

Aug-98

Withdrawn - Sold to First Hampshire and Dorset 4/07

Red & Cream

S560RWP

52560

560

Plaxton

B22F

Aug-98

Withdrawn - Sold to First Hampshire and Dorset 5/07. Now preserved by Wyvern Bus Group

Red & Cream

S561RWP

52561

561

Plaxton

B22F

Aug-98

Withdrawn and sold to First Devon & Cornwall - April 2004

Red & Cream

S562RWP

52562

562

Plaxton

B22F

Aug-98

Withdrawn and sold to First Devon & Cornwall - April 2004 - Sold to Erith Commercials for scrap 10/09

Red & Cream

S563RWP

52563

563

Plaxton

B22F

Aug-98

Withdrawn and sold to First Devon & Cornwall - April 2004 then to  Erith Commercials 8/07

Red & Cream

S564RWP

52564

564

Plaxton

B22F

Aug-98

Withdrawn - 6/05 - Sold to First Coaches 11/05 then to First Somerset & Avon 5/06

Barbie2 (3/03)