Birkenhead Buses

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Birkenhead bus, fleet number 152, Leyland PD2

Birkenhead buses started to operate in on 12 July 1919 with a service from Rock Ferry to Birkenhead Park railway station, this service was extended to Moreton in the August of that year. The buses supplemented an earlier tram service.

In 1860, Birkenhead on the Wirral Peninsula, England, had become the first town in Europe to operate a street tramway. It was started by George Francis Train, an American, when he laid track from Woodside Ferry to Birkenhead Park Main Entrance and ran a horse drawn car service. In August 1901 the Corporation of Birkenhead opened an Electric Tramway, first to New Ferry and later around the town, it operated until 1937.


Birkenhead's first livery on trams and buses was maroon and cream with a white roof, but in 1934 Birkenhead's famous blue and cream livery was applied to a new AEC Q-type double-deck bus. It was the only one of its type operated by the Corporation but the blue and cream livery was applied to all future delivered buses with the legend "BIRKENHEAD CORPORATION MOTORS" applied in gold on the lower cream band. In 1951, the Transport Department was reorganised, with the bus and ferry departments merging. A slight livery change gave more cream coverage around the lower deck windows and the legend was changed to read "BIRKENHEAD TRANSPORT". White roofs had been overpainted blue during the war and with this revised livery the white roof was never re-applied.

Bus fleet[edit]

During the 1950s and 1960s the average size of the Birkenhead fleet was 225 buses, the last traditional British half cab chassis were delivered to Birkenhead in 1967, 15 in all.


On 1 December 1969, the municipal fleets of Liverpool, Birkenhead and Wallasey came together as a result of the 1968 Transport Act, to form the Merseyside Passenger Transport Executive. This lasted until 1986, when most of Britain's municipal, PTE and national bus companies were privatised, again because of government legislation.

See also[edit]

Wirral Transport Museum


  • Local Transport in Birkenhead and District by T.B. Maund A.M Inst.Transport. An Omnibus Society Publication.
  • Birkenhead Buses by Tom Turner. Published by Wallasey Tramcar Preservation Society.
  • The Birkenhead Bus by T.B. Maund. Published by Ian & Marilyn Boumphrey
  • George Francis Train Society

External links[edit]