First Hampshire & Dorset

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First Hampshire & Dorset
logo
image
Wright Eclipse Gemini bodied Volvo B7TL in Southampton in September 2008
Parent FirstGroup
Founded 1997 (1898 as Southampton Citybus)
Headquarters Southampton
Service area Hampshire
Dorset
Service type Bus services
Destinations Southampton
Portsmouth
Fareham
Gosport
Weymouth
Fleet 360 (March 2013)
Website www.firstgroup.com/ukbus/hampshire
www.firstgroup.com/ukbus/dorset

First Hampshire & Dorset[1] is a bus operator providing services in the counties of Hampshire and Dorset. It is a subsidiary of FirstGroup.

History[edit]

Wright Handybus bodied Dennis Dart in Southampton in September 2008 in First Provincial livery

First Hampshire & Dorset was created out of various different smaller companies which were merged once FirstGroup had acquired them.

In October 1995 FirstBus purchased the bus services in Fareham, Gosport and Portsmouth operated by People's Provincial.

In April 1996 FirstBus purchased services in Portsmouth from Transit Holdings trading as Red Admiral & Blue Admiral, which in turn had taken over the Portsmouth CityBus operations under the title of Southdown Portsmouth. This operation was then put under the control of People's Provincial and the whole renamed to First Provincial.

In 1997 FirstBus purchased Southampton Citybus and after a brief period of using the Citybus name, the operation was renamed First Southampton. In 1999 First Southampton merged with First Provincial[2] to form First Hampshire, later being renamed First Hampshire & Dorset. The company is facing growing competition in Southampton from Go-Ahead owned Bluestar.

In 1999 FirstGroup purchased Southern National with the Dorset operations merged to form First Hampshire & Dorset in 2003.

Depots[edit]

  • Bridport (Tannery Road)
  • Fareham (Gosport Road, Hoeford)
  • Poole Outstation of Weymouth Depot, providing vehicles for a school contract for Bournemouth Grammar Schools, Kingston Maurward College (Dorchester) work and X53 short workings and the 387 service.
  • Portsmouth (Hilsea West, London Road, Hilsea). Due to the depot allocation size; many buses are also parked overnight in The News Centre, London Road Hilsea.
  • Southampton (Empress Road), which also includes the Yellow School Bus section
  • Weymouth (Edward Street)
  • Yeovil

Fleet[edit]

As at March 2013 the fleet consisted of 360 buses.[3]

First inherited a large number of Leyland Atlanteans from Southampton Citybus along with Leyland Lynxs, Leyland Olympians and gas powered Dennis Darts. All of these have now been withdrawn from the Southampton fleet. An unusual vehicle inherited from the Provincial fleet was the first ACE Cougar, one of just two built, which has also been withdrawn.[4] First introduced a number of bus types that are also no longer in service in Southampton; these include Volvo B7RLA / Wright Eclipse Fusion bendy buses introduced in 2000 but transferred to First Glasgow in 2003 after they proved unsuitable for a number of Southampton roads,[5] former First Capital Dennis Arrows proved unpopular in Southampton and moved onto First Greater Manchester in 2006. First had operated Optare Solos on the free City-link service between Southampton Central Station, West Quay Shopping Centre and Town Quay, these left the Southampton fleet when First lost the City-link contract to Uni-link, which subsequently became franchised to Bluestar in 2008.

References[edit]

  1. ^ Companies House extract company no First Hampshire & Dorset Limited formerly First Hampshire Limited formerly Southampton City Transport Company Limited
  2. ^ Companies House extract company no 2110585 First Provincial Buses Limited formerly The Provincial Bus Company Limited
  3. ^ FirstGroup Fleetlist Steve White
  4. ^ http://www.provincialsociety.org/survivors/h523ctr.htm Archived 1 January 2011 at WebCite
  5. ^ This is Hampshire.net - "Getting the hump" - Bendy buses have trouble over speed bumps[dead link]

External links[edit]