THE historic 144 bus service, which has been running between Worcester and Birmingham for more than 100 years, has a new name.

First Buses has relaunched the 144 and 144A as Salt Road buses in a new green colour scheme. The route famously travels between Worcester and the second city, with stops in Droitwich, Bromsgrove and Rubery. First Buses say buses will still run every 15 minutes between Worcester and Bromsgrove, and every 30 on to Birmingham - but there has been some changes to the times “to make the service much more reliable”. The new timetable can be found at

The new name has been chosen for the links to the salt trade in Droitwich, as the route became known as the Salt Road to transport Spa salt. For the launch 12 buses have been refurbished and buses are set to be more disabled friendly as screens will show where the bus is on the route and the next stop, while there will be announcements ahead of each stop on the bus’ tannoy.

Also, as part of the buses facelift, there is new maquette fabric seating, and USB charging points fitted to seats throughout the bus for passengers. As part of a First Buses tour along the route to promote the new service, one of the new buses went on show outside the Guildhall yesterday, with staff on hand to offer refreshments and chat about the changes. There were also Roman soldiers entertaining passersby.

First Buses’ managing director Nigel Eggleton said: “There are slight changes to the timetable, which will ensure a better service.

“Free wifi and USB points are no longer a novelty, it is almost an expectation. This is the modernisation of our buses.”

Mr Eggleton said they were aware that there can be a risk of confusion with the launch of a new name, but people had already got used to looking out for the “eye-catching” green bus since the service began on Monday.

“We have learned from the experience of some other bus operators who have taken these bold decisions to remove a complicated three digit number and go for a loud and attractive brand," he said.

"They ensured the marketing and publicity was right - it’s worked for them. It is a lot easier to remember to get the big green bus.”