New Service 408 was introduced by Midland Red Omnibus Company Limited (MROC) as a local Malvern area service operated by Worcester depot, from Saturday 2nd October 1976, following the closure of Malvern depot and the withdrawal of all local â€˜Mâ€™-prefix Malvern area services at the end of operations on the previous day.
Service 408 operated over quite a complex route between Great Malvern, Belmont and Malvern Link. The service departed from Rose Bank Gardens and ran via Worcester Road to Link Top, then via Newtown Road, Leigh Sinton Road, Yates Hay Road, Howsell Road and Worcester Road to Malvern Link. From Malvern Link it ran a circular route clockwise around Lower Howsell Road, Summerfield Road and Worcester Road, back to Malvern Link. Buses then returned to Great Malvern over a similar route to the outbound journey, but ran via Albert Park Road and not Newtown Road.
The route terminated in Great Malvern near Foley Arms, and the vehicle would then operate either a Service 409 or Service 410 to Poolbrook.
Although this new Service 408 ran on parts of Leigh Sinton Road, it did not go as far as Tanhouse Lane and ran instead along Yates Hay Road. This left the Tanhouse Lane area without a bus as there was nothing replacing the withdrawn Malvern Local Service M33. At the request of Hereford and Worcester County Council, Bristol Omnibus Company Limited (BOC) diverted certain journeys of their Service 546 (Cheltenham Spa and Malvern) and Service 572 (Gloucester and Malvern) routes along Tanhouse Lane to act as a partial replacement. The Bristol company also agreed to operate additional short-working journeys between Malvern Link, Tanhouse Lane, Great Malvern, and Malvern Wells, and create new routes that included Malvern Wells to replace the withdrawn section of Service 144, but these additional Service 572, new Service 575, and new Service 576 journeys were then subcontracted back to Midland Red, so were operated by Midland Red drivers in Midland Red vehicles!
On Saturday 13th January 1979, Midland Red Omnibus Company Limited (MROC) introduced their â€œSeverlinkâ€ Market Analysis Project (MAP) in the Worcester, Bromsgrove and Malvern area. At this time, Service 408 was withdrawn and replaced, in part, by new Service M1 and Service M2.
Other new routes introduced on Saturday 2nd October 1976 with the closure of Malvern depotâ€¦
Service 409: Great Malvern, Barnards Green, Poolbrook circular
Service 410: Great Malvern, Barnards Green, Poolbrook circular
Service 412: Worcester, Powick, Malvern Link, Barnards Green, Great Malvern
Service 413: Worcester, Powick, Malvern Link, Belmont, Great Malvern (Sundays only)
Service 478: Great Malvern, West Malvern, Colwall, Ledbury