Diamond BUS Introduction

Diamond bus started life at The Birmingham Coach Company which was formed in 1984 by Geoff Howle as a small independent coach operator. With bus de-regulation in October 1986 the whole direction of the company changed. Geoff Howle decided to plug a gap in provision on the service 16 from the Hamstead to Birmingham by registering a service primarily linked to providing transport for students at Birmingham University from their halls of residents to the campus. This became the first competing bus route to be registered in the West Midlands by an independent operator against West Midlands Travel. The company continued to develop both its bus and coach operations becoming very reliant on mark one Leyland Nationals for the former. Around 2000 the company embarked on a fleet replacement programme, which totally replaced the Leyland Nationals with a mixture of new and second hand, vehicles. As part of this programme the livery was altered and the Diamond Bus trading name was introduced. The Diamond Bus network serves West Bromwich, Dudley and Walsall, as well as providing commercial services in north and west Birmingham. Some of the services are subsided by Centro and or Worcestershire County Council. The company became a fairly large provider of vehicles for National Express services and opened a new satellite depot opened in Bradford in 2003 for some of these services (With a reduction in the operation of National Express services the Bradford depot was closed in the autumn of 2006). On 5th December 2005 the company was purchased by the Go-Ahead Group for a total price of up to 2.025 million. Go-Ahead plan to develop the Diamond Bus brand in the West Midlands. On 22nd February 2006 Go-Ahead announced that they had agreed in principle to acquire the assets and services of Probus Management Ltd (People's Express) for around 2.4 million. The actual completion of the sale took place on Tuesday 21st March 2006. The two operations were then consolidated under the Diamond bus brand name. From 22nd March 2006 The operation of all services that were operated by People's Express were transferred without change to Diamond Bus (In Redditch this meant journeys on the following routes in Redditch were transferred - 57, 58, 146, 247 and 343).   

The combined company went through a period of restructure to make it more like fellow Go-ahead bus operating subsidiaries:

  • On Wednesday 24th August 2006 Go-ahead group PLC owners of The Birmingham Coach Company announced today a restructuring of their West Midlands business. The Birmingham Coach Company Ltd was renamed Go West Midlands Ltd and from that date the company traded as Diamond in the West Midlands instead of Diamond Bus

  • A new livery has been introduced for the combined fleet which is the current Diamond Bus livery but without the black roof. Repainting started with the yellow vehicles from the former People's Express operation that were to remain in the fleet.

  • From early September 2006 Go West Midlands now shared the same Managing Director, Philip Kirk, as City of Oxford a fellow Go-ahead company

  • A new fleet numbering scheme was introduced from Sunday 24th September 2006. This was in fact a part renumbering as some vehicles had acquired fleet numbers in early September 2006 only to re-numbered latter in the month so vehicle types are allocated blocks of numbers.

  • The new Diamond in the West Midlands fleet names were applied to vehicles as they are repainted from early October 2006.

  •  From 22nd October 2006 vehicles and services will be moved between garages so that at the time all remaining Centro contracts were operated from the Tivadale garage.

  •  It was planned to reopen  the Redditch garage  from late October 2006 (this is the former Midland Red Church Road garage) for the operation of Redditch local services plus the Diamond service 50 between Druids Heath and Birmingham City Centre.

  • It open initially on a Mondays to Saturdays between 0600 and 2000 basis only, though it is now a seven day a week garage.

  • The re-opening of the Redditch depot was delayed whilst the application to change the operators license was processed. Diamond Bus finally re-opened the Redditch Garage (the former Midland Red Garage) over the weekend of the 10th and 11th February 2007. This followed an extensive refurbishment. 

  • The former Pete's Travel/People's Express garage at Hill Top closed as an operational garage over the weekend of the 10th and 11th November 2007. The majority of vehicles will transferred to the Tivadale Garage. From the same weekend all of the remaining step entrance vehicles were withdrawn from service.

The Go-ahead Group undertook a review of the West Midlands bus operations and announced on 3rd March 2008 that it had completed the unconditional sale of 100% of the share capital of the company to Rotala plc ('Rotala'). The gross asset value of the business was approximately 1 million and the net book value was approximately nil. Owning the former companies of The Birmingham Coach Company and People's Express cost the Go -ahead group a total 10.2M to both purchase and restructure the two operations into the Diamond operation. The sale to Rotala only realised 2M hence why Go-ahead had to make provision for the remaining 8.2M in their half yearly accounts published in December 2007

From Monday 21st July 2008 Rotala started to put a number of new buses mainly Volvo B7R single deckers. Some of the new vehicles have been allocated to the Redditch depot branded as Red Diamond. The remainder of the new vehicles are being used in the Black Country branded as Black Diamond. From Sunday 25th January 2009 the Ludlow's and Diamond Bus fleets were merged following the closure of the Ludlow's depot in Halesowen. In September 2009 a new depot was opened at Droitwich to operate Worcestershire contracted bus services in both Droitwich and Worcester areas. With the reduction in fund available for bus subsidy in Worcestershire the Diamond bus operation in Worcestershire was drastically reduced from Sunday 24th April 2011. From that date the only services operated in Worcestershire were 51, 57A, 58A, 61 and 70 plus evening and Sunday journeys on 143, 146 and 247 in Redditch. The Droitwich local services, the 362,363 and 383 to the south of Worcester plus a number of late evening journeys in Worcester. During September and October 2011 Diamond bus adopted a new five figure group vehicle number system. Many vehicles carried both their new five figure number and their old 3 figure number

On Sunday 3rd March Diamond bus took over the operation of all First Midland bus services in both Redditch and Kidderminster. This followed the purchase of the Redditch and Kidderminster depots from First Group for 1.5M.

The current operational fleet

Registration Number Fleet Number Vehicle Chassis Body work Seating Capacity Vehicle Livery
KP02PUY 20002 Dennis Dart SLF SFD6BACR32GW16437 Plaxton 0194/10 B29F Black Diamond
KP02PUX 20003 Dennis Dart SLF SFD6BACR32GW16428 Plaxton 0194/9 B29F Black Diamond
KP02PVA 20100 Dennis Dart SLF SFD6BACR32GW16415 Plaxton 0194/11 B29F Black Diamond
KX03JBE 20302 Dennis Dart SLF SFD6BACR32GW87025  Plaxton 2083/8 B29F Black Diamond
T469HNH 20469 Dennis Dart SLF SFD612BR1XGW13249 Plaxton 998.8GKB0912 B29F Red Diamond
S758RNE 20501 Dennis Dart MPD 612BRWGW12871 Plaxton 988.8GKB0357 B29F Red Diamond
S759RNE 20502 Dennis Dart MPD 612BRWGW12869 Plaxton 988.8GKB0358 B29F Red Diamond
T 71JBA 20503 Dennis Dart MPD 612BRWGW12991 Plaxton 988.8GKB0359 B29F Red Diamond
V266BNV 20504 Dennis Dart SLF SFD612BR1XGW14146 Plaxton 998.8KB1892 B28F Red Diamond
V267BNV 20505 Dennis Dart SLF SFD612BR1XGW14115 Plaxton 998.8KB1891 B28F Red Diamond
V942DNB 20507 Dennis Dart SLF SFD612BR1XGW13864 Plaxton 998.8KB0603 B29F Red/White
KP02PUE 20508 Dennis Dart SLF 6BACR32GW16416 Plaxton 0194/6 B29F Black Diamond
KU02YUA 20518 Dennis Dart SLF SFD6B2CR31GW16271 Alexandra 0162/8 B29F Red Diamond
KP51UFC 20519 Dennis Dart SLF SFD6B2CR31GW16231 Plaxton 0167/2 B29F Black Diamond
X372CUY  20533 Dennis Dart SLF SFD612BR1XGW14436 Plaxton 008.8GKB2348  B29F Red Diamond
KW02CVV  20535 Transbus Dart SLF SFD6BACR32GW16396 Transbus B29F Red (was branded for the 226)
KW02CXG  20536 Dennis Dart SLF SFD6BACR32GW16395  Plaxton B29F Red (was branded for the 226)
Y37YVV 20537 Dennis Dart SLF SFD612BR1XGW14467 Plaxton 008.8GKB2453 B29F Red Diamond
KS03EXG 20538 Optare M920 SAB19000000001188 Optare B33F Black Diamond
KS03EXN 20539 Optare M920 SAB19000000001221  Optare B33F Black Diamond
KS03ESL 20540 Optare M920 SAB19000000001219  Optare B33F Black Diamond
KS03EXM 20541 Optare M920 SAB19000000001220  Optare B33F Black Diamond
KS03EXP 20542 Optare M920 SAB19000000001222  Optare B33F Black Diamond
YT51EAO 20543 Dennis Dart SLF SFD6B2CR31GW16180 Plaxton 0161/11 B29F Black Diamond
KP51UFB 20544 Dennis Dart SLF SFD6B2CR31GW16230 Plaxton 0167/1 B29F Black Diamond
T468HNH 20546 Dennis Dart SLF SFD612BR1XGW13248 Plaxton 998.8GKB0911 B29F Red Diamond
W573JVV 20573 Dennis Dart SLF SFD612BR1XGW14254 Plaxton 008.8GKB2255 B29F Red Diamond
KP51SXW 20574 Dennis Dart SLF SFD6B2CR31GW15999 Alexandra 0126/3 B29F Black Diamond
T546HNH 20646 Dennis Dart SLF SFD612BR1WGW13084 Plaxton 998.8GKB0734 B29F Red Diamond
KP51UFH 20601 Dennis Dart SLF SFD6B2CR31GW16233 Plaxton 0167/4 B29F  
KP51SXX 20605 Dennis Dart SLF SFD6B2CR31GW16000 Plaxton 0126/4 B29F Black Diamond
T546HNH 20646 Dennis Dart SLF SFD612BR1WGW13084 Plaxton 998.8GKB0734 B29F Red Diamond
PN52ZVK 20761 Optare M850 SAB19000000001028 Optare 191028 B29F Black Diamond
PN52ZVM 20763 Optare M850 SAB19000000001030  Optare 191030 B29F Black Diamond
PN52ZVO 20764 Optare M850 SAB19000000001031  Optare 191031 B29F Black Diamond
PN52ZVP 20765 Optare M850 SAB19000000001032 Optare 191032 B29F Black Diamond
PN52ZVR 20766 Optare M850 SAB19000000001033 Optare 191033 B29F Black Diamond
 W767URP 20867 Dennis Dart SLFSFD612BR1XGW14428  Plaxton 008.8GKB2343 B29F Black Diamond
KP54BYO 20906 Dennis Dart SLF SFD6BACR44GW17951  Plaxton 4218/ B29F Black Diamond
YJ12GUE 30128 Optare V1100H Optare SABWWYSCHCS320430 B37F Black Diamond
YJ12GTZ 30129 Optare V1100H Optare SABWWYSCHCS320431 B37F Black Diamond
YJ12GUA 30130 Optare V1100H Optare SABWWYSCHCS320432 B37F Hybrid promotional livery
YJ12GUC 30132 Optare V1100H Optare SABWWYSCHCS320433 B37F Black Diamond
YJ12GUD 30133 Optare V1100H Optare SABWWYSCHCS320434 B37F Black Diamond
YJ12GUF 30134 Optare V1100H Optare SABWWYSCHCS320436 B37F Black Diamond
YJ12GUG 30135 Optare V1100H Optare SABWWYSCHCS320437 B37F Black Diamond
YJ12GUH 30136 Optare V1100H Optare SABWWYSCHCS320438 B37F Black Diamond
YJ55WRA 30201 DAF SB120CS XMGDE12CS0H 013044 Wrights B39F Black Diamond
YJ51EKB 30202 DAF SB120CS XMGDE12CS0H 009039 Wrights D624 B39F Black Diamond
YJ51EKD 30204 DAF SB120CS XMGDE12CS0H 009041 Wrights D626 B39F Black Diamond
YJ51EKE 30205 DAF SB120CS XMGDE12CS0H 009042 Wrights D627 B39F Black Diamond
YJ51EKF 30206 DAF SB120CS XMGDE12CS0H 009043 Wrights D628 B39F Black Diamond
YJ51EKG 30207 DAF SB120CS XMGDE12CS0H 009044 Wrights D629 B39F Black Diamond
YJ51EKJ 30209 DAF SB120CS XMGDE12CS0H 009478 Wrights F37 B39F Black Diamond
YD02PZK 30210 DAF SB120CS XMGDE12CS0H 009524 Wrights F35 B39F Black Diamond
YD02PZL 30211 DAF SB120CS XMGDE12CS0H 009026 Wrights F36 B39F Black Diamond
YD02PZM 30212 DAF SB120CS XMGDE12CS0H 009028 Wrights F38 B39F Black Diamond
YD02PZN 30213 DAF SB120CS XMGDE12CS0H 009529 Wrights F39 B39F Black Diamond
YD02PZO 30214 DAF SB120CS XMGDE12CS0H 009552 Wrights F40 B39F Black Diamond
YJ51EKM 30216 DAF DE12CSSM120 XMGDE12CS0H009046 Wrights D531 B39F Black Diamond
X808NWX 30218 DAF DE12CSSB120 XMGDE12CS0H008254 Wrights D158 B39F Black Diamond
S397HVV 30426 Dennis Dart SLF SFD322BR1WGW12792 Plaxton 9810.7HLB9585 B40F Red/White
S404JUA 30427 Dennis Dart SLF 322BR1WGW12508 Plaxton 9810.7HLB9561 B40F Red/White
S405JUA 30428 Dennis Dart SLF 322BR1WGW12506 Plaxton 9810.7HLB9562 B40F White
T442EBD 30431 Dennis Dart SLF SFD322BR1WGW12926 Wrights A645 B40F Red/White
T445EBD 30433 Dennis Dart SLF SFD322BR1WGW13003 Plaxton 9910.7HLB0420 B39F Black Diamond
T447EBD 30434 Dennis Dart SLF SFD322BR1WGW12925 Wrights A644 B39F Black Diamond
V377SVV 30437 Dennis Dart SLF 322BR1XGW13158 Plaxton 9910.7HLB0966 B39F Black Diamond
V391SVV 30438 Dennis Dart SLF SFD322BR1XGW13349 Plaxton 9910.7HLB0967 B39F Black Diamond
W567JVV 30439 Dennis Dart SLF SFD322BR1XGW14382 Plaxton 0010.7HLB2329 B39F Black Diamond
S393HVV 30444 Dennis Dart SLF SFD322BR1WGW12914 Plaxton 9910.7HLB0409 B37F Red/White
T418MNH 30445 Dennis Dart SLF SFD322BR1WGW12878 Plaxton 9810.7HLB0346 B39F Red/White
Y211HWJ 30454 Dennis Dart SLF 322BR1WGW12943 Plaxton 9910.7HLB0368 B39F Red Diamond
Y212HWJ 30455 Dennis Dart SLF 322BR1WGW13012 Plaxton 9910.7HLB0425 B39F Red Diamond
W335VGX 30488 Dennis Dart SLF SFD212BR1TGW14570 Plaxton 0010.7HLB2540 B33F Red/White
W336VGX 30489 Dennis Dart SLF SFD212BR1TGW14596 Plaxton 0010.7HLB2541 B33F Red/White
S377TMB 30512 Dennis Dart SLF SFD322BR1WGW12315 Plaxton 9810.7HLB8579 B41F Red/White
S396HVV 30513 Dennis Dart SLF SFD322BR1WGW12507 Plaxton 9810.7HLB9563 B31F Red/White
W906JNF 30516 Dennis Dart SLF SFD322BR1YGW14683 Alexandra 9943/6 B38F Red Diamond
W142WGT 30520 Dennis Dart SLF SFD212BR1YGW14698 Plaxton 0010.1HJB2592 B37F Red Diamond
R76GNW 30524 Dennis Dart SLF SFD212BR1VGW11075 Wrights Y243 B36F Red Diamond
R562XOM 30525 Dennis Dart SLF SFD322BR1VGW11944 Plaxton 9810.7HLB8137 B39F Red Diamond
WX58FRU 30801 MAN 14.220 WMAA66ZZ6BC011489 Plaxton 0812.2NEA7861 B45F Yellow 50 livery
KX08HMZ 30802 MAN 14.240 WMAA76ZZ08C010495 Plaxton 0710.7NDA7575 B38F Yellow 50 livery
BU08DBO 30803 MAN 14.240 WMAA76ZZBBC010454 Plaxton 0710.7NDA 7591 B45F Yellow 50 livery
KX57OVV 30804 MAN 14.240 WMAA76ZZ08C010402 Plaxton 0710.7NDA7531 B38F Yellow 50 livery
KX08HMY 30805 MAN 14.240 WMAA76ZZ08C010491 Plaxton 0710.7NDA7574 B38F Yellow 50 livery
WX58FRV 30806 MAN 14.220 WMAA66ZZBBC011493 Plaxton 0812.2NEA7862 B45F Black Diamond
BU08DCO 30807 Volvo B7RLE YV3R6K62X8A123077 Plaxton 0712TGA7333 B45F Green 002 livery
BU08DCE 30808 Volvo B7RLE YV3R6K6208A123122 Plaxton 0712TGA7338 B45F Green 002 livery
BU08DCX 30809 Volvo B7RLE YV3R6K6208A123119 Plaxton 0712TGA7337 B45F Green 002 livery
BU08DCF 30810 Volvo B7RLE YV3R6K6247A122991 Plaxton 0712TGA7332 B45F Green 002 livery
WX58FSA 30811 Volvo B7RLE YV3R6K6238A126452 Plaxton 0812TGA7784 B45F Green 002 livery
BX09SHZ 30821 Volvo B7RLE YV3R6N2299A132619 Plaxton 0912TN8181 B45F Black Diamond
BX09SJO 30822 Volvo B7RLE YV3R6N2279A132618 Plaxton Centro B45F Black Diamond
BX09SJU 30823 Volvo B7RLE YV3R6N2269A132772 Plaxton 0912TN8182 B45F Black Diamond
BX09SJV 30824 Volvo B7RLE YV3R6N2289A132773 Plaxton Centro B45F Black Diamond
BX09SJO 30825 Volvo B7RLE YV3R6N2279A133000 Plaxton 0912TN8184 B45F Black Diamond
BX09SNV 30826 Volvo B7RLE YV3R6N2279A132960 Plaxton 0912TN8187 B45F Black Diamond
BX09SNY 30827 Volvo B7RLE YV3R6N2219A132999 Plaxton 0812TNA8186 B45F Black Diamond
BX09SNZ 30828 Volvo B7RLE YV3R6N2299A132961  Plaxton 0812TNA8185 B45F Black Diamond
BU08DAO 30850 Volvo B7RLE YV3R6K6278A126616 Wrights AB496 B45F Red Diamond
BU08DBX 30851 Volvo B7RLE YV3R6K6258A126615 Wrights AB497 B45F Red Diamond
BU08DBV 30852 Volvo B7RLE YV3R6K6267A126623 Wrights AB495 B45F Red Diamond
WX58FSE 30854 Volvo B7RLE YV3R6K6238A126824 Wrights AB499 B45F Red Diamond
WX58FRZ 30855 Volvo B7RLE YV3R6K6218A126627 Wrights AB498 B45F Red Diamond
WX58FSD 30856 Volvo B7RLE YV3R6K6236A106585 Wrights K590 B45F Red Diamond
BU08DHO 30857 Volvo B7RLE YV3R6K6258A126792 Wrights AB500 B45F Red Diamond
BU08DHP 30858 Volvo B7RLE YV3R6K6258A126792 Wrights AB493 B45F Red Diamond
WX58FSC 30859 Volvo B7RLE YV3R6K6268A126381 Wrights AB491 B45F Red Diamond
WX58FRR 30860 Volvo B7RLE YV3R6K6238A126614 Wrights AB494 B45F Red Diamond
MX07OYT 30861 Volvo B7RLE YV3R6K6277A119096 Wrights AA558 B45F Red Diamond
BU08MTE 30862 Volvo B7RLE YV3R6K6218A126451 Wrights AB492 B45F Red Diamond
R527YRP 31412 Dennis Dart SLF 322BR1WGW11071 Wrights Y252 B38F Red Diamond
R529YRP 31413 Dennis Dart SLF 322BR1WGW11072 Wrights Y240 B38F Red Diamond
R530YRP 31414 Dennis Dart SLF 322BR1WGW11107 Wrights Y241 B38F Red Diamond
R532YRP 31416 Dennis Dart SLF 322BR1WGW11108 Wrights Y253 B38F Red Diamond
R954JYS 31419 Dennis Dart SLF 322BR1WGW12508 Plaxton 9810.7HLB8626 B39F Black Diamond
R660GCA 31421 Dennis Dart SLF 322BR1VGW11993 Plaxton 9810.7HLB8577 B41F Red/White
R403FFC 31479 Dennis Dart SLF SFD212BR1WGW12201 Wrights A217 B35F Red Diamond
R404FFC 31480 Dennis Dart SLF SFD212BR1WGW12202 Wrights A218 B35F Red Diamond
R405FFC 31481 Dennis Dart SLF SFD212BR1WGW12204 Wrights A219 B35F Red Diamond
R46FFC 31482 Dennis Dart SLF SFD212BR1WGW12207 Wrights A220 B35F Red Diamond
R407FFC 31483 Dennis Dart SLF SFD212BR1WGW12203 Wrights A221 B35F Red Diamond
W337VGX 31486 Dennis Dart SLF SFD212BR1TGW14595 Plaxton B33F Red/White
R76GNW 31524 Dennis Dart SLF SFD212BR1VGW11075 Wrights Y243 B33F Red Diamond
P878PWW 31526 Dennis Dart SLF SFD212BR1TGW10694 Plaxton 9710HJZ6569 B36F White

Note vehicles 31479-85 were registered R3-7/9/10OXF respectively. The vehicles were registered soon after entering service with Diamond. The registration marks have been transferred to vehicles in the then sister company The Oxford Bus Company . Note 30862 was originally numbered 30853 and registered BU08DBY