First exits Hereford
First closed its Hereford operation at the end of service on 6 September. The company and its Midland Red predecessor had served the city continuously for 95 years. Appropriately, a Midland Red heritage livered ADL Enviro300 normally based at Worcester worked the final journey following several days on a range of Hereford duties. The final First fleet in Hereford consisted of 19 vehicles, mainly Optare Solos and Dennis Darts with Caetano bodywork including some short examples acquired secondhand from Jersey. Many of them carried the current First livery with Hereford branding.
Most of the former First services are now being operated unchanged by Yeomans, although DRM has taken on the interurban link to Worcester with some amendments to the timetable reflecting the location of their operating base. Some First staff moved with the services whilst others opted for voluntary severance or early retirement allowing the depot closure to be achieved without compulsory redundancy. A similar situation applied to the second First depot in the Midlands to close that night, the Potteries depot in Newcastle under Lyme. Potteries operations have been concentrated into the Adderley Green depot with a small reduction in overall vehicle requirements.