HEREFORDSHIRE AND THE TRIAL
in regulated times. Wye Valley Motors operated a network of
rural services in the far west of the county, in particular to the
Golden Valley. In October 1969, Leyland Tiger HVJ583 is seen
parked in Hereford Bus Station, where Wye Valley had a depot.
Wye Valley were taken over by G H Yeomans in the 1970's. The
former Wye Valley routes are now run by First Midland Red, Yeomans
and Abbey Cars, where they still exist. The Golden Valley area
is deeply rural, even though it once supported a light railway.
1981, Hereford and Worcester County Council decided to go along with
the government's plans to experiment with deregulation of bus
services and offered most of Herefordshire as a "Trial Area"
under the 1980 Transport Act. The Traffic Commissioners'
control of route licensing did not apply in the area, which included
the City of Hereford and much of the rural area surrounding.
Midland Red was in the course of being split up at the time, and
somewhat strangely moved some double-deckers, Alexander bodied
Fleetlines, to Hereford. 2545 is seen in Hereford in October
first "head-to-head" competitor with Midland Red West was
"Flash" Whitehead, trading as Flashes Coaches. When
National Welsh had at an earlier date shed a number of unremunerative
routes to the south-east of Hereford, Flash had entered the local bus
market by introducing a number of market-day services. Despite
the strict licensing controls of the time, the services had been
frequently changed to attempt to produce sufficient passengers from
this rural area. With the introduction of the "Trial
Area", he capitalised on local dissatisfaction with Midland Red
having discontinued the direct route between Westfields and Hereford
City Centre. He introduced a service in competition with
Midland Red, in addition to which he won a few tendered routes.
The Bristol RE shown was acquired from Leicester City Transport, and
continued to operate for some time in Leicester livery.
Red West also experienced competition from Primrose Motors, who
competed on the service across the river to the Newton Farm housing
estate and on the main road service between Leominster and hereford.
The more direct routeing adopted by Primrose to Newton Farm was soon
mimicked by MRW service H27, and two competing buses are seen here
outside the Shire Hall in Hereford.
Coaches also provided a limited amount of competition for Midland Red
West. They had won tenders for the former Midland Red 469
service between Bromyard and Hereford via Bishops Frome, and 476
between Hereford and Ledbury, and DRM Coaches (run by another member
of the Morris family) continues these services to the present,
although 469 is now a pale shadow of its former frequency.
Morris's also provided Midland Red West with competition on the main
Hereford route, but only for a very short time.
Canyon Travel are of course a well-known small operator in Hereford,
and ran several rural routes under contract to Hereford and Worcester
County Council. The long-established Credenhill service was
later passed to Midland Red West as part of a settlement following a
period of competition. Yeomans have also competed
"head-to-head" on Hereford city services in more recent
times. This Bedford/Duple is seen in Hereford Bus Station.