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Diamond is a bus operator in the West Midlands, formed in 1986 as The Birmingham Coach Company.

Company History

Birmingham Coach Company

The company was created in 1986 as the Birmingham Coach Company operating a single route, 16, in competition with West Midlands Travel.

Diamond Bus

"Diamond Bus" branding
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.

Go West Midlands

The Go Ahead group purchased Diamond Bus in 2005, as well as Peoples Express (formerly Pete's Travel), and integrated the two companies, branded as Diamond. This created the second biggest operator in the West Midlands, behind Travel West Midlands.

Rotala Group

On 3rd March 2008, Go West Midlands was sold to Rotala Group, who also owned Central Connect and North Birmingham Busways. Rotala originally kept the Diamond business separate from Central Connect and Ludlows (purchased later), instead switching a number of routes between the three operators.
A "Diamond" branded bus

Red Diamond and Black Diamond

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

Operational History

Worcestershire

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

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 rival company First Midland Red withdrew links to the hospital.

The operations in Redditch were rebranded as Red Diamond in July 2008 to coincide with the launch of 6 new buses, with a livery designed to be similar to what was used on Midland Red buses. By September 2008 a further 6 new buses were in operation, along with 10 older buses in the new livery.

In February 2009, Red Diamond won Worcestershire County Council contracts to operate a number of services around Droitwich and Redditch starting in April 2009, 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 First. 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 uniforms.

Awards

At the Passenger Transport Management Awards in June 2009, Austin Birks, Scott Dunn and John Everill of the company were nominated for awards. Austin Birks went on to win the Innovation & New Thinking award, Scott Dunn won the Young Passenger Transport Professional of the Year award while John Everill was runner up for the Marketing award. Additionally, Trevor Hickinbottom won an Unsung Heros award for dedication to the industry over the previous 38 years.

Routes

See also



References

External links




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