Introduction to Reddibus.com

 

Why call the site Reddibus.com? Reddibus was the brand name adopted by the National Bus Company subsidiary Midland Red for its expanding bus network in Redditch when it was launched on 13th March 1976. This new network of bus services used 15 vehicles and saw frequencies increase by 300% and passengers by 100%. The idea for the Reddibus network was launched on 27th June 1975 at a meeting of the recently formed Transportation Steering Group. Redditch had been designated a new town in 1964 as an overspill for the nearby City of Birmingham and in common with the Runcorn which was another new town in Cheshire,  Redditch was designed around public transport with the bus being the main transport provider. As well as having more trees per head of population than anywhere else in Britain Redditch also probably has more bus lanes than anywhere else for the size of town. The town's main circular bus route the services 57 and 58 are each 7.5miles in length with a third of that on bus only roads. Much of the rest of the route is on roads with limited car access. The initial network was expanded in March 1977 when four further vehicles were added (Leyland Nationals NOE607-10R) and the Redditicket was launched. This ticket brand name continued in use until February 2003 when First Midland Red introduced a range of corporate First branded tickets to Redditch.

The first bus service numbered 17 in Redditch was started on 4th April 1914 and ran from Birmingham. It started at the Bull Ring in Birmingham City Centre and ran to Redditch via Northfield and Longbridge. In 1915 it was rerouted via Cotteridge as per the present day service 146. By 1925 the route had been renumbered 126. The Midland Red Garage in Church Road in Redditch was opened on 1st July 1931 to cater for the increase in local services within the town. First Midland Red closed the garage on 21st January 2004 and sold it to a property developer called Mohammad Farooqui who has rented the building to Pete's Travel on a 5 year lease. Pete's Travel (latter know as People's Express) moved into the garage on 13th April 2004. People's Express moved out on Friday 17th June 2005 and the building remained empty until the Go Ahead group decided to reopen the garage. The two blue and white spot logos at the top of the page represent the Midland Red Garage "Leopard Spots" for Redditch or garage 18. The original 28 Midland Red Garages were all given an individual colour spot logo which until the 1950's were carried by each bus next to the rear registration plate to denote vehicle allocation.

The majority of the information on the site is post Sunday 26th October 1986 when bus operation in Britain outside of London was deregulated.

Firstgroup introduced a new computerised asset management system in 2002 called Sema Voyager. All assets owned by the group are numbered with the vehicles being the largest items. First PMT experimented with the system with other Group member companies following on as the new computer system was installed. First Midland Red will be one of the last subsidiaries to adopt the new system. To conform with the requirements of the system all vehicles are allocated a unique 5 digit fleet number. The renumbering of the First Midland Red vehicles benefited from the system refinements so that in the main new numbers have some resemblance to either the old fleet number or the registration mark. This follows problems in other group subsidiaries where the fleet numbers are used for either radio call signals or for vehicle fuelling. A start on renumbering vehicles was made on Saturday 13th March 2004 with full application of the new numbers taking the next few days to fully apply. All references to First vehicles after March 2004 use the national numbers.

On Sunday 3rd March 2013 the most significant event for many years for buses in Redditch when Rotala PLC through their Diamond bus subsidiary purchased Redditch and Kidderminster garages from First group for 1.5m which include a small number of vehicles and the two garage sites. From the takeover Diamond started the process of integrating the First Midland Red services into their Diamond bus operation .