First South West

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First South West
FirstGroup.svg
Redruth Station Hill - First 33463 (WK66CDF).JPG
ParentFirstGroup
HeadquartersCamborne
Service areaCornwall
Somerset
Service typeBus services
Routes82[1]
Depots6
Fleet296 (April 2019)[2]
Websitefirstkernow.co.uk, busesofsomerset.co.uk

First South West[3] is a bus company operating services in the English counties of Somerset and Cornwall. It is a subsidiary of FirstGroup.

First South West includes the Kernow and Buses of Somerset brands.

History[edit]

Alexander Dennis Enviro400 in Plymouth in June 2012
Plaxton Pointer 2 bodied Dennis Dart in Plymouth in August 2007
Preserved ECW bodied Leyland Olympian in the old livery at Penzance Bus Station in April 2012

First South West was known as 'First Devon & Cornwall' until 2015. This had been formed from two previous FirstGroup companies: Western National in Cornwall and south Devon, and Red Bus in north Devon. FirstGroup purchased independent Cornish operator Truronian in April 2008 and merged it into First Devon & Cornwall.[4][5] First Somerset & Avon routes around Taunton and Bridgwater were transferred to First Devon & Cornwall in 2014 and rebranded as The Buses of Somerset.

On 6 September 2015, the Plymouth, Dartmouth and Tavistock garages were taken over by Stagecoach South West.[6][7] Torpoint depot is being used[clarification needed] to store the unused members of the fleet. At the same time, First Devon & Cornwall changed their name to First South West to reflect their new area of operation which is only in Cornwall and south Somerset.

Routes[edit]

First South West routes cover much of Cornwall. It operates the Park & Ride service in Truro.[8] In March 2015, First Kernow commenced operating some of Western Greyhound following its sudden closure.

Fleet[edit]

As at April 2019 the fleet consisted of 296 buses and coaches.[9]

First South West used to operate one of the older FirstGroup fleets with an average of 11.6 years, but investment in new buses has seen this figure decrease to 9.9 years.[10] New purchases were made in 2016 and 2018 for the Kernow division. These were ADL Enviro400 MMC's, ADL Enviro200 MMC's and Optare Solo SR's. Most buses are second hand from within the FirstGroup fleet, they are large fleets of Plaxton Presidents on Volvo B7TL and Dennis Trident 2 chassis, Plaxton Pointer on Dennis Dart chassis, Optare Solo's and Mercedes-Benz Citaros. [11]

Until December 2006 First South West operated the last sizeable fleet of Bristol VRT double-deck buses in the United Kingdom.[12] Some of these Bristol VRTs were preserved.

As at May 2019, the oldest buses are Dennis Trident 2/Plaxton Presidents from 1998 operating out of Bridgwater depot. A Volvo Olympian has been preserved in the fleet.[11][13]

Depots[edit]

Outstations[edit]

See also[edit]

References[edit]

External links[edit]

Media related to First Devon and Cornwall at Wikimedia Commons