First in Norfolk & Suffolk
A Volvo B7TL/Alexander ALX400, on the Kesgrave guided busway on route 66
|Founded||1931, formerly Eastern Counties Omnibus Services|
|Headquarters||Rouen House, Rouen Road, Norwich, NR1 1RB|
|Locale||Norfolk and Suffolk|
|Service area||Norwich, Ipswich, Bury St Edmunds, Great Yarmouth, Kings Lynn, Lowestoft|
|Website||First in Suffolk & Norfolk website|
The company was formed in 1931 by the combination of four existing bus companies in East Anglia, the earliest of which started operations in 1902. Eastern Counties operated throughout Cambridgeshire, Norfolk, Suffolk and the Soke of Peterborough in Northamptonshire. The company was a subsidiary of Tilling and British Automobile Traction Limited (TBAT).
In 1933 services in the city of Norwich were taken over with the acquisition of the local tram company, the trams being withdrawn in 1935 in favour of buses. One of the predecessor bus companies, United Automobile Services, had a bus body works, which Eastern Counties inherited. In 1937, this operation was transferred to a separate company, Eastern Coach Works in Lowestoft.
In 1942 the TBAT group was broken up and Eastern Counties passed to the Tilling Group. In 1948 Tilling's bus interests were sold to the government, and Eastern Counties was nationalised as a company under the control of the British Transport Commission (BTC).
In 1962 with the splitting of the BTC into separate railway and other transport operations, the BTC bus companies passed to the Transport Holding Company (THC). While still state-owned, THC companies were required to act as commercial concerns. In 1969 Eastern Counties became part of the National Bus Company.
In preparation for bus deregulation and privatisation the company's operations in Cambridgeshire were broken off into a separate company, Cambus Limited, on 9 September 1984. The company's coaching operations were also split and became Ambassador Travel, based at Great Yarmouth.
The company was bought out by the management on 26 February 1987. In 1994 it became only the second company in the United Kingdom to use guided buses when Superoute 66 was launched in Ipswich. The guided busway, known as Ipswich Rapid Transit, is still served by the company. In July 1994 they were sold to GRT Group, and by June 1995 GRT merged with Badgerline to form FirstBus. In 1996 the municipal buses of Great Yarmouth Transport were acquired.
Fleet summary 
The company operates the following bus types:
- Volvo B10M
- Volvo B12M
- Leyland Olympian
- Volvo Olympian
- Volvo B7TL
- Volvo B9TL
- Dennis Dart SLF
- Volvo B10B
- Scania L113
- Scania L94
- Volvo B7RLE
- Dennis Trident 2
See also 
|Wikimedia Commons has media related to: FirstGroup buses in the United Kingdom|
- First Eastern Counties website
- First Eastern Counties Fleetlist
- Eastern Counties the Tilling predeccessor company
- Fist Eastern Counties Fleetlist