Andrew Cole takes us on a journey looking at West Midlands Passenger Transport Executive, or WMPTE, buses, and those used by its successors. WMPTE came into being in 1969 and combined the bus fleets of Birmingham, West Bromwich, Walsall and Wolverhampton, with Coventry joining later on. They also took over part of the Midland Red operations, with their buses transferring to WMPTE ownership.
WMPTE chose to adopt a livery similar to the one used by the largest of its inherited fleets, Birmingham City Transport's blue and cream. They operated services throughout the West Midlands, having one of the largest fleets in the UK. Upon deregulation in 1986, WMPTE became known as West Midlands Travel, who quickly adopted a blue and silver livery. West Midlands Travel would eventually undergo a management buyout in 1991 before being sold to the National Express Group in 1995, who changed the name to Travel West Midlands. WMPTE tended to standardize its fleet of buses, taking many Daimler- and Leyland-built Fleetlines before adopting locally built MCW Metrobuses as their main double-decker. All of these buses have now been withdrawn from service, leaving a very modern fleet operating in the West Midlands.
Andrew Cole has been interested in railways for over thirty years, sharing the hobby with his brother and late father, who ignited his interest. He has been lucky enough to see many different classes of loco. He lives in Birmingham with his wife and daughter, and has been employed by the railways for more than fifteen years.