This vehicle was one of the last Lances acquired new by Midland Red West Limited to enter service (August 1995) and was originally painted white, carrying overall advertising for the Crowngate Shopping centre in Worcester. The advertising contract between First Midland Red and Crowngate expired around the beginning of 2000, however First Midland Red did not get around to having 249 repainted to the standard bus livery of red and cream until early July 2000, (returned to service after being painted on 13th July 2000), so Crowngate had around six months of free advertising!
On the 19th April 2003, while still in service at Worcester depot, 249 was again repainted, this time into FirstGroup “Barbie2” livery. Shortly afterwards she was one of several Lances from Worcester depot to be reallocated to Redditch depot for use on the Redditch “OverGround” network of services, and was fitted with pink route branding for use of the service 146 between Birmingham and Redditch.
This vehicle was on long term loan from Plaxton and was used at Worcester depot, but sometimes also used at Digbeth depot or Evesham depot, until its return to Plaxton in May 2000. During its time with First Midland Red the front of this vehicle was painted in First Midland Red livery but the rest of the vehicle was kept white. This vehicle was also slightly different from the First Midland Red fleet as it was fitted with a low step entrance.