As deregulation and privatisation dawned in 1986, Milton Keynes City Bus was formed out of United Counties. The entire Milton Keynes operation was subsidised by the then Buckinghamshire County Council to the tune of £3m or more annually and plans were afoot to recast the city's services Harry Blundred style with a fleet of 92 minibuses. The plan was nearly scuppered by the Milton Keynes Independent Bus Consortium, a group of local independent operators that came together to bid for the deregulation contracts at a fraction of the annual County budget. The group included Bletchley coach operator Armstrongs, Souls of Olney, Buffalo Travel and Motts Travel amongst others. The County was, unsurprisingly, taken aback; the writing was on the wall and the cosy relationship between United Counties and the Council would soon end. With the delivery of the minibuses imminent, the Council Officers did all they could to scupper the Consortium's plans and persuaded Council members that offering a route to Armstrongs would be the equivalent of a few scraps off the table. The savings to the County were nonetheless significant, but the County managed to cushion the blow to Milton Keynes City Bus by letting an £80,000 contract for a shuttle service between the Shops and Bus Station every five minutes. The service was totally unwarranted, little used and did not last much more than six months. The fleet of 92 Mercedes L608D minibuses was deployed from September 1986 with Street Shuttle branding. The first 45 were twenty seaters bodied by Robin Hood and 107 (D107VRP) is seen above at the little used Bus Station, followed by 177 (D177VRP) which, like the rest of the batch, has Alexander bodywork, again seating twenty, though 146-151 had nineteen dual purpose seating.