Four revolutionary new midi buses were about to go in service with Barrow Borough Transport in 1988.

The company had invested around £100,000 in the new vehicles, which seated 22 passengers, following a successful trial.

With front wheel drive and a six-wheel chassis, they had low floors making them ideal on town routes and for pensioners, who would find them much easier to board up two small steps.

Most of the company’s drivers used the test vehicle and the new buses incorporated several modifications that they had suggested.

Built by Peugeot-Talbot in Coventry, the design was proving popular with several companies, including London Transport.

In 1996 a convoy of new buses had arrived in Barrow.

The new buses worth £300,000 were destined to improve services between Furness General Hospital and south Walney.

They were the latest acquisition of bus firm Stagecoach Cumberland, which operated 300 buses and coaches throughout Cumbria.

The new Mercedes Benz 23-seat ‘Sprinter’ minibuses were designed to be used more easily by elderly and less able passengers.

They had winder doorways, lower steps, larger interiors, more luggage space and brightly coloured handrails and bells.

The latest engine technology was also expected to cut down on exhaust emissions and improve the environment.

The firm had spent £10 million in the previous five years replacing half its fleet.

Travelling proudly through the streets of Barrow in 1997 was a vintage bus built in 1958.

The bus, a Leyland PD 2/40, was owned by VSEL worker John Hambler and would operate a service from Forum 28 over the Easter weekend, taking in Barrow Island and Walney. The trips coincided with an exhibition by Furness Model Railway Club in Forum 28.

The event had been set up by the newly created Barrow Transport Group, the official supporters' club of Barrow Transport Museum Trust.

To mark forming the group, Derek Gwynn, former general manager of Barrow Corporation Transport, which ran the bus service in the town before it was privatised, was welcomed on board as the first official member.

The trust hoped to set up a permanent exhibition of transport memorabilia.