Travel Merry Hill

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Travel Merry Hill
Industry Bus transport
Fate Merger
Successors Travel West Midlands
Founded 1987
Defunct 2001
Headquarters West Midlands

Merry Hill Minibuses was the bus operating arm of the Merry Hill Shopping Centre in Dudley, England. It was known as Travel Merry Hill after 1998 following a takeover by National Express Group.

History[edit]

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.[1] 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.[1]

National Express takeover[edit]

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.[2] 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.[3]

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