First Bristol

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First Bristol
Clifton Down - First 37346 (WX57HLG).jpg
Parent FirstGroup
Founded 1875
Headquarters Bristol
Service area Bristol
Service type Bus services
Depots 2
Fleet 274 (March 2013)

First Bristol[1] is a bus operator providing services in Bristol. It is a subsidiary of FirstGroup.


A preserved Bristol Omnibus Lodekka is passed by its modern equivalent, a Wright Eclipse Gemini (April 2013, Sea Mills)

In 1875 George White formed the Bristol Tramways Company and began a horse drawn service from Upper Mauldlin Street to Blackboy Hill. In 1887 the Bristol Tramways Company merged with the Bristol Cab Company to form the Bristol Tramways & Carriage Company, later the Bristol Omnibus Company.[2] In 1929 the White family sold out to the Great Western Railway who by 1932 had sold it to the Western National. In 1948 it was nationalised, in 1969 it became part of the National Bus Company.

In September 1983 the National Bus Company split the operation in two, with the Cheltenham and Gloucester Omnibus Company taking the services in Cheltenham, Gloucester, Stroud and Swindon. The remainder stayed with the existing Bristol Omnibus Company divided into two business units: Citybus services for services within Bristol, Bristol Country Bus for services in Bath, Somerset and Wiltshire. In April 1985 Bristol Country Bus was rebranded Badgerline and in 1986 it assets were transferred to a separate legal entity[1] and privatised in September 1986 in a management buyout.

In September 1987 Citybus was sold to Midland Red West which in April 1988 was purchased by Badgerline. In 1996 Badgerline was merged back into Citybus. After Badgerline merged with GRT Group and was rebranded as FirstBus, the operation was rebranded as First Bristol.


Many single deck routes are operated by Wright Streetlites (May 2014, Clifton)

As at March 2013 the fleet consisted of 274 buses and coaches.[3]


First Group operate the majority of services in Bristol with many of the remainder operated by Wessex Bus.


First Bristol operate depots in Hengrove and Lawrence Hill.

See also[edit]


  1. ^ a b Companies House extract company no 1966227 First Bristol Limited formerly First City Line Limited formerly Badgerline Limited
  2. ^ Companies House extract company no 25088 First Somerset & Avon Limited formerly First Bristol Buses Limited formerly Bristol Omnibus Company Limited formerly Bristol Tramways & Carriage Company Limited
  3. ^ FirstGroup Fleetlist Steve White

External links[edit]