Arriva Bus Enthusiasts

Arriva is pleased that it has a following of enthusiasts, who are interested in the vehicles, services and history of the local bus companies.

We regret that health and safety considerations mean that we aren’t able to permit depot visits.

There are various bodies that can provide information of interest to enthusiasts, including these…



The origins of the core of the Arriva Midlands business lie with the Birmingham and Midland Motor Omnibus Company. This was better known as Midland Red and was split into smaller regional businesses prior to the privatisation of the National Bus Company.

Midland Red East, based in Leicester, changed its name to Midland Fox in 1984. It was sold to its management team in 1987, with help from the directors of Stevensons of Uttoxeter who also bought operations in Swadlincote.

Several smaller operators were taken over and in 1989 the business was bought by British Bus predecessor Drawlane. It acquired the Loughborough Bus and Coach Company in the same year. Municipally-owned Derby City Transport was sold to its employees, with help from Luton and District Transport, in 1989. (See also Arriva the Shires and Essex). It passed to British Bus in 1994 with Luton and District Transport and the Clydeside operations in Scotland.

Midland Red North, based in Cannock, was bought by Drawlane in 1988. Various reorganisations in the north of its territory saw depots exchanged between Crosville and North Western.

Stevensons of Uttoxeter was a family business founded in 1926. It acquired a controlling interest in the East Staffordshire District Council’s operations in Burton-on-Trent in 1985. In 1987 it became involved in the management buy-out of Midland Red East. This included the purchase of Midland Red East’s depot in Swadlincote depot. Growth followed in the Potteries and the West Midlands. Stevenson passed to British Bus in 1995, and it subsequently came under the management of Midland Red North.

In 2003, a reorganisation saw operations in Crewe, Macclesfield and Winsford pass to Arriva North West. Arriva Midlands North, Arriva Derby and Arriva Fox County merged to become Arriva Midlands.

The purchase of Chase Coaches in 2007 reintroduced the company to Walsall.

Today we operate from depots in Shrewsbury, Oswestry, Wellington, Shifnal, Cannock, Stafford, Burton-on-Trent, Tamworth, Coalville, Derby, Thurmaston, Leicester and Wigston.

  • BaMMOT – the Birmingham and Midland Motor Omnibus Trust
  • POPS - Potteries Omnibus Preservation Society