First Bristol

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First Bristol
Bristol 2015 - First 37623 (WX58JYJ) at Cribbs Causeway.JPG
Wright Eclipse Gemini bodied Volvo B9TL at Cribbs Causeway in Bristol
Parent FirstGroup
Founded 1875
Headquarters Bristol
Service area Bristol
Service type Bus services
Depots 2 active, 1 disused
Fleet 345 (February 2015)

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


Northern Counties Palatine bodied Leyland Olympian in Bristol in July 2006
East Lancs bodied Dennis Trident 2 in park & ride livery in Bristol in June 2011

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 nationalized, in 1969 it became part of the National Bus Company.[3]

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 privatized in September 1986 in a management buyout.[4]

In September 1987 City Line (formerly Citybus) was sold to Midland Red West which in April 1988 was purchased by Badgerline. In 1996 Badgerline was merged back into City Line. After Badgerline merged with GRT Group and was rebranded as FirstBus, the operation was rebranded as First Bristol.[5]


As at February 2015, the fleet consisted of 345 buses and coaches.[6]


FirstGroup operate the majority of services in Bristol with most of the rest operated by Wessex Bus. Other operators include Severnside Transport Limited and CT Plus.


First Bristol operate depots in Hengrove and Lawrence Hill.[7] A third depot, Muller Road, is leased to First from Bristol City Council, however it is only used for storing withdrawn buses due to structural issues including subsidence.

See also[edit]


  1. ^ a b Companies House extract company no 1966277 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. ^ "History of Bristol's buses". Bristol Vintage Bus Group. Retrieved 20 December 2015. 
  4. ^ "Badgerline bus back on the road in Bristol". Western Daily Press. 9 August 2015. Retrieved 20 December 2015. 
  5. ^ "The FirstGroup Timeline". First Group. Retrieved 20 December 2015. 
  6. ^ FirstGroup Fleetlist Steve White
  7. ^ "New bus depot idea unveiled for Bristol". BBC. Retrieved 20 December 2015. 

External links[edit]