First West Yorkshire

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First West Yorkshire
Volvo B7RLE First West Yorkshire.jpg
FoundedApril 1974
Service areaWest Yorkshire
Service typeBus services
Fleet893 (March 2013)
Chief executiveDave Alexander
WebsiteFirst Bradford
First Halifax, Calder Valley & Huddersfield
First Leeds

First West Yorkshire[1] is a major bus operator in West Yorkshire. It is a subsidiary of FirstGroup. It is formed up of sub-brands First Bradford, First Calderdale & Huddersfield and First Leeds.


Plaxton Derwent bodied Leyland Leopards at Halifax depot in 1991
Wright Eclipse Gemini 2 bodied Volvo B5L in August 2011
FTR in Leeds in April 2007

In April 1974 the West Yorkshire Passenger Transport Executive was formed with the municipal fleets of Bradford, Calderdale, Halifax, Huddersfield and Leeds combined under the MetroBus brand with a cream and verona green livery adopted.[2]

To comply with the Transport Act 1985, in 1986 the West Yorkshire Passenger Transport Executive's bus operations were transferred to a separate legal entity and rebranded as Yorkshire Rider.[1] The livery changed to a bright green and cream livery with a stylised "YR" logo, plus the name "Yorkshire Rider", with an area on the logo that incorporated the town in which the garage for that bus was located. In October 1988 Yorkshire Rider was sold in a management buyout.[3]

In August 1989 West Yorkshire Road Car Co was purchased from AJS Holdings with services in Bradford, Leeds and Otley.[3]

In April 1994 Yorkshire Rider was sold to Badgerline who in June 1995 merged with GRT Group to form FirstBus.[4]

In September 1995 Yorkshire Rider was split into separate divisions:[5]

  • Bradford Traveller - covering Bradford with a depot at Bowling Back Lane
  • Calderline - covering Halifax and Calderdale with depots in Halifax and Todmorden
  • Kingfisher Huddersfield - covering Kirklees with a depot at Old Fieldhouse Lane
  • Leeds City Link - covering the Leeds area with depots in Bramley, Hunslet and Cherry Row

In February 1998 all were renamed as First Bradford, First Calderdale, First Huddersfield and First Leeds as part of the rollout of the FirstGroup brand.[6]

During the early 2000s, several were merged. First Quickstep were based at the same Kirkstall Road depot as First Leeds but as a separate entity running several services around the Leeds area until it was merged into First Leeds' operation, while First Calderdale and First Huddersfield merged in 2003 to form First Calderdale & Huddersfield.

In July 2005, First Leeds took over Morley based Black Prince Buses.[7][8]

On 18 May 2008 First Leeds' Kirkstall Road depot was closed after 111 years of public use and operations moved to a new complex in Hunslet.

During 2009, the management of the three First companies in West Yorkshire plus First York were centralised.


First West Yorkshire operate the majority of the services in the Bradford, Calderdale, Huddersfield and Leeds areas, consisting of local services serving different areas of towns and cities of Bradford, Halifax, Huddersfield, Leeds and Todmorden, and town-to-town services.[citation needed]


As of February 2014, First bus West Yorkshire has a total of 916 buses, which consists of 505 double deckers and 411 single deckers.[needs update]


First West Yorkshire operate five depots in Bradford, Halifax, Huddersfield, Hunslet and Bramley.[9]

See also[edit]


  1. ^ a b Companies House extract company no 1990370 First West Yorkshire Limited formerly Yorkshire Rider Limited
  2. ^ Part 1 - 1974 to 1979 The Early Metrobus era Archived 13 November 2013 at the Wayback Machine West Yorkshire Buses
  3. ^ a b Part 3 - 1986 to 1990 Yorkshire Rider the early days Archived 3 March 2016 at the Wayback Machine West Yorkshire Buses
  4. ^ Part 4 - 1991 to 1994 Rider Group expansion Archived 25 February 2012 at the Wayback Machine West Yorkshire Buses
  5. ^ Part 5 - 1995 to 1997 Badgerline & FirstBus, new names, new liveries Archived 10 October 2008 at the Wayback Machine West Yorkshire Buses
  6. ^ Part 6 - 1997 to 1999 The early Metrobus era Archived 10 October 2008 at the Wayback Machine West Yorkshire Buses
  7. ^ Anticipated acquisition by First West Yorkshire Limited of Black Prince Buses Limited Archived 6 March 2012 at the Wayback Machine Office of Fair Trading
  8. ^ Farewell to the prince of buses Morley Observer & Advertiser 19 February 2008
  9. ^ FirstGroup Fleetlist Steve White

External links[edit]