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Diamond Bus

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Diamond Bus1 is a bus operator in the West Midlands It is a subsidiary of Rotala


  • 1 History
    • 11 Birmingham Coach Company & Diamond Bus
    • 12 Go West Midlands
    • 13 Rotala Group
    • 14 Red Diamond & Black Diamond
  • 2 Diamond Staffordshire
  • 3 Diamond West Midlands
    • 31 Black Diamond
    • 32 Blue Diamond
    • 33 Signature
  • 4 Diamond Worcestershire
  • 5 Former operations
    • 51 Birmingham Motor Traction
    • 52 Ludlows
    • 53 North Birmingham Busways
    • 54 Zak's
  • 6 References
  • 7 External links


Plaxton Pointer bodied Dennis Dart in Walsall in June 2007 MCV Evolution bodied MAN 14240 in Red Diamond livery in June 2011

Birmingham Coach Company & Diamond Busedit

In 1984 Geoff Howle commenced a coach operation trading as the Birmingham Coach Company Following deregulation of the bus industry in 1986, Howle applied to operate route 16 between Hamstead and Birmingham in competition with West Midlands Travel2

In 2000 Birmingham Coach Company was re-branded as Diamond Bus, replacing many of their existing Leyland Nationals, expanding their network in Birmingham and the Black Country By 2003 Diamond Bus had become a National Express contractor and opened a depot in Bradford2

Go West Midlandsedit

In December 2005 the Go-Ahead Group purchased Diamond Bus3 and in February 2006 Probus Management4 with over 100 vehicles and merged the two companies to form Go West Midlands5

Rotala Groupedit

In March 2008 Go West Midlands was sold to Rotala who also owned Central Connect and North Birmingham Busways67 Rotala originally kept the Diamond business separate from Central Connect8 and Ludlows purchased later9, instead switching a number of routes between the three operators From November 2011 Central Connect was re-branded as Blue Diamond10

Red Diamond & Black Diamondedit

In July 2008 new buses were put into service in Redditch on routes 57 and 58, branded as Red Diamond11 Since then a number of routes in North Worcestershire have been re-branded as Red Diamond along with new routes in competition with First Midland Red's in Redditch At the same time new buses were allocated to a number of Black Country routes, branded as Black Diamond

Diamond Staffordshireedit

The Diamond Staffordshire brand was introduced in late 2012 for the company's services around the Lichfield area

Diamond West Midlandsedit

In late 2012 Blue Diamond, Black Diamond and Signature became Diamond West Midlands and operate services across the West Midlands

Black Diamondedit

Plaxton Centro bodied Volvo B7RLE in Black Diamond livery in September 2010 Marshall Capital bodied Dennis Dart SLF in Blue Diamond livery in September 2010

In 2008, upon takeover by Rotala, Diamond started to "localise" their operations In the Black Country, this meant that the brand became Black Diamond with 20 new Plaxton Centros eight of which have since moved to Wessex Bus due to service cuts These were new for routes 401, 402, 404, 404E and 404H

In 2009, Diamond launched eight more Plaxton Centro buses on route 9, these using Royale Black Diamond branding Route 202 Halesowen - Bromsgrove and 4H Hayley Green - West Bromwich uses Royale Black Diamond buses

Most of the routes these buses were new for have since either had new buses 404E, withdrawn 404/H or had older stock transferred to them 401/2citation needed

In October 2010, Diamond bus branded 10 MCV Evolution bodied MAN 14240s for the 404 Walsall – West Bromwich service under the branding Black Country Connection, the service operates every 6–8 minutesThese buses displaced the Black Diamond branded buses of which 2 have transferred to Wessex Bus and the rest have been cascaded to other routes, eg the 56 which is now operated by NXWM as service 93712

On 23 April 2017 the Wednesfield operations of Arriva Midlands were purchased with nine vehicles1314

On 28 July 2017, the business of Hanson's Local Buses that operated services in Stourbridge, Dudley and surrounding areas was purchased1516 Hanson's Local Buses was formed in the 1980s by Margaret Hanson as a coach operator Following deregulation of the bus industry in 1986, Hansons diversified into operating bus services1718

Blue Diamondedit

Blue Diamond was formed from the merger of Zak's Buses, North Birmingham Busways and Birmingham Motor Traction In January 2008 Ludlows, Halesowen was purchased Originally branded Central Connect, in November 2011 it was rebranded as Blue Diamond10


Mercedes-Benz Citaro in Signature livery in September 2010

On 7 June 2010, Central Connect launched the Signature brand with two Solihull routes that were taken over from National Express West Midlands, the S2 S2/S2A/S2C and S3 are operated with Optare Solo SRs with leather seating and on-board WiFi

On 26 July 2010, the Signature brand took over route 82 from National Express Coventry but following a more direct route between Solihull and Coventry using Mercedes-Benz Citaros and service S4 taken over from Grosenvor using MCV Evolutions, again both feature leather seating and free on-board WiFi

On 27 March 2011, the Signature brand expanded again with the addition of route 30 Solihull-Acocks Green which was withdrawn by National Express West Midlands

When Central Connect was rebranded as 'Blue Diamond' in late 2011, the Solihull Signature brand was retained As at October 2013 the Signature branding is applied to eight routes19

Diamond Worcestershireedit

Wright Crusader bodied Dennis Dart SLF in Pershore in June 2010 Wright Crusader bodied Dennis Dart SLF in Birmingham in September 2010

In early 2013 Red Diamond was rebranded as Diamond Worcestershire

In a working partnership with Worcestershire County Council, a new fleet of Red Diamond bus services were introduced to operate in Redditch These buses are mainly Diamond owned Wright Eclipse bodied Volvo B7RLEs but there have been several re-painted Dennis Darts in operation

From 22 January 2007, Diamond were forced to withdraw their evening services on routes 57 and 58 in Redditch, which were under contract to Worcestershire County Council, due to persistent vandalism and violence on the routes20 The company told the council that they would no longer risk operating in the evenings A month later on 25 February 2007, Diamond also withdrew the evening services on route 246 between Redditch and Evesham due to low passenger numbers21

On 8 June 2008, the company introduced 57A and 58A journeys alongside their existing 57 and 58 routes, the new journeys would serve the Alexandra Hospital, after First Midland Red withdrew links to the hospital22

The operations in Redditch were rebranded as Red Diamond in July 2008 to coincide with the launch of six new buses, with a livery designed to be similar to what was used on Midland Red buses23 By September 2008 a further six new buses were in operation, along with 10 older buses in the new livery24

From 31 August 2008, Diamond Bus stepped up their operation of commercial and non-commercial services in Redditch significantly, to the point where they operated more buses in Redditch than main rival First Midland Red

In February 2009, Red Diamond won Worcestershire County Council contracts to operate a number of services around Droitwich and Redditch starting in April 2009,25 these are routes 19 to Meadows Estate, 20 to Westlands, 20A to New Chawston, 137 to Dunhampstead, 140/141 to Bromsgrove and 157 to The Ridings In addition to this, extra daytime journeys are to be provided on Redditch services 50, 64 and 70 The company will also once again operate evening services in Redditch on routes 55A, 56A, 57 and 58 Service 64 between Bromsgrove and Birmingham will also be renumbered to 144 and re-routed to follow the same numbered service operated by First26 Droitwich residents were unhappy about the changes, showing concern about losing the known and respected drivers from the local routes, however, Diamond Bus entered into an agreement with the former operator of the routes, allowing them to continue operating with the same drivers, while Diamond Bus provide the buses and uniforms27

In 2010, amid much criticism of the poor performance of the existing buses from Worcestershire County Council and passengers, Diamond brought nine MCV Evolutions for services 362, 363 and 382

In January 2013 Red Diamond purchased First Midlands's Kidderminster and Redditch depots and re-branded the operations as Diamond Worcestershire28

Former operationsedit

After Rotala purchased Diamond Bus in 2008, the Diamond Bus operation was expanded to include the operations of four companies operating in the same region which were already owned by Rotala

Birmingham Motor Tractionedit

Birmingham Motor Traction29 operated a number of services in Birmingham with a fleet of varied buses, mostly Dennis Darts in a dark blue and white livery, although many buses ran in dealer all-white They operated a number of services under contract to the West Midlands Passenger Transport Executive It was purchased by Rotala in 2007


Ludlows operated a number of services in Halesowen It operated a varied fleet of around 20 white buses, all of which were low-floor It was purchased by Rotala in 2007

In January 2009, Diamond announced that the Ludlows operation was to be integrated with the Diamond operations, with all routes and vehicles moving to the Tividale depot and running under the Diamond brand30

North Birmingham Buswaysedit

North Birmingham Busways31 was a small bus operator established in the mid 1990s, and based near Erdington Its services operated throughout North Birmingham, using, in the main, a distinctive livery of green and cream In addition to bus services, the company also offered PCV training32

On 18 June 2007 it was purchased by Rotala33 On 20 August 2007 the bus service operations and vehicles transferred to Rotala's Central Connect subsidiary


Zak's Bus and Coach Services34 was founded in Great Barr by Kevin Fazakarley in 1978 In October 2006 the business was purchased by Rotala subsidiary Flights Hallmark, and although the original plan was to transfer the assets and operations to Flights Hallmark, contract issues necessitated the continuation of the Zak's legal entity, the company being renamed Central Connect Limited in April 20078

Rotala relocated the operation to Flights Hallmark's Aston depot, merging with an existing West Midlands Passenger Transport Executive contracted service previously awarded to Flights The Aston depot has since closed with all operations being moved to other Diamond Bus depots across the West Midlands


  1. ^ Companies House extract company no 2531054 The Diamond Bus Company Limited formerly Go West Midlands Limited formerly The Birmingham Coach Company Limited
  2. ^ a b Diamond Bus Introduction Reddibus
  3. ^ Acquisition of Birmingham Passenger Transport Services Limited Archived 11 October 2013 at the Wayback Machine Go-Ahead Group 2 December 2005
  4. ^ Companies House extract company no 4384063 Probus Management Limited
  5. ^ Acquisition of the Business and Assets of Probus Management Limited Archived 11 October 2013 at the Wayback Machine Go-Ahead Group 22 February 2006
  6. ^ Disposal of Go West Midlands Archived 12 October 2013 at the Wayback Machine Go-Ahead Group 3 March 2008
  7. ^ About Black Diamond Archived 22 September 2013 at the Wayback Machine Rotala
  8. ^ a b Companies House extract company no 3506681 Central Connect Limited formerly Zaks Bus & Coach Services Limited
  9. ^ Rotala buys bus business Ludlows of Halesowen for 850,000 stg Thompson Financial 21 June 2007
  10. ^ a b About Blue Diamond Archived 22 September 2013 at the Wayback Machine Rotala
  11. ^ About Red Diamond Archived 25 September 2013 at the Wayback Machine Rotala
  12. ^ http://nxbuscouk/routes/west-midlands/B937/timetableday=&tab=
  13. ^ Rotala signs deal with Arriva to take on Wednesfield operation Rotala 24 March 2017
  14. ^ Diamond takes on Arriva Wednesfield Bus & Coach Buyer 24 Match 2017
  15. ^ Change of Ownership for Hanson's Loca; Buses Hanson's Local Buses
  16. ^ Rotala plc purchases Hanosn's Local Bus Diamond Buses 28 July 2017
  17. ^ About Hanson's Hanson's Local Buses
  18. ^ "Hanson's" Buses 568: 34–36 July 2002 ISSN 0007-6392 
  19. ^ Signature services in Solihull Signature
  20. ^ "Night buses cancelled after attacks" Redditch Advertiser 22 January 2007 Retrieved 28 February 2009 
  21. ^ "Low ticket sales forces bus cuts" Evesham Journal 15 February 2007 Retrieved 28 February 2009 
  22. ^ "Alex bus help" Redditch Advertiser 10 June 2008 Retrieved 28 February 2009 
  23. ^ "New bus fleet hits the roads" Redditch Advertiser 22 July 2008 Retrieved 28 February 2009 
  24. ^ "Go green with Red Diamond" Redditch Advertiser 8 September 2008 Retrieved 28 February 2009 
  25. ^ "Bus firm wins 11 tenders From Worcester News" Worcesternewscouk 20 February 2009 Retrieved 12 June 2009 
  26. ^ "Diamond expands operations in Redditch and Worcestershire" Retrieved 28 February 2009 permanent dead link
  27. ^ "Moves to ease bus service fears From Worcester News" Worcesternewscouk 21 April 2009 Retrieved 12 June 2009 
  28. ^ First sells Worcestershire bus services Worcester News 25 January 2013
  29. ^ Companies House extract company no 4392415 Birmingham Motor Traction Limited
  30. ^ Changes to Ludlows operations Retrieved 12 January 2009dead link
  31. ^ Companies House extract company no 2852859 North Birmingham Busways Limited
  32. ^ North Birmingham Busways - "Services" Archived 28 September 2007 at the Wayback Machine - Accessed 4 January 2007
  33. ^ Rotala to buy NBBpermanent dead link - Accessed 18 June 2007
  34. ^ Zaks Coaches Zaks Coaches

External linksedit

  • Media related to Diamond Bus at Wikimedia Commons
  • Company website

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