Travel Merry Hill
|Successor(s)||Travel West Midlands|
The Merry Hill Minibus company was originally owned by the former owners of the Merry Hill Centre, Richardson Developments Limited.
Originally launched in 1987 to compete with WMPTE's "Mini Buzz" service, at that time the Merry Hill Minibuses were the major form of public transport linking the surrounding areas with the shopping centre, of which approximately half had been opened by the time the service was launched (the first retailers had moved to the centre in 1985 and it was completed in 1989).
In the early days, the fleet consisted of Carlyle Works bodied Freight Rover Sherpa diesel vehicles. An attraction to customers of the Merry Hill Minibus service was that the buses gave change if you did not have the exact fare, which was not the case with the Autofare dominated WMPTE fleet. The company intended to operate around 100 vehicles from the time of the centre's completion in November 1989, but stalled at 46 following the Early 1990s recession.
National Express takeover
During 1997 Merry Hill Minibuses was taken over by West Midlands Travel's parent company National Express who continued to run it as a separate subsidiary. The operating centre was moved in 1999 from the back of the Merry Hill Centre to the Pensnett Trading Estate in Dudley.
On 17 February 2001, following a group restructuring, the Travel Merry Hill services were absorbed into the main company which by now was trading as Travel West Midlands. This ended the Travel Merry Hill operation.
- Brown, Stewart J (September 1993). Buses in Britain. Capital Transport. p. 110. ISBN 1-85414-158-9.
- Travel West Midlands Ltd Acquires Merry Hill Minibuses Ltd (1997/03/25) - Thomsons Financial Mergers and Acquisitions
- Brierley Hill Area Action Plan - Baseline Report - Accessiblity