First Potteries

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First Potteries
FirstGroup.svg
First Potteries 30078 B201 DTU.jpg
Leyland Olympian at the Wirral Bus & Tram
Show in October 2008
Parent FirstGroup
Headquarters Adderley Green
Service area Stoke-on-Trent
The Potteries
Stafford
Crewe
Leek
Service type Bus services
Hubs Hanley
Newcastle-under-Lyme
Depots 2
Fleet 185 (March 2013)
Fuel type Diesel (plus 10 MicroHybrids)
Chief executive Nigel Eggleton (Managing Director First Midlands)
Website Potteries Buses

First Potteries[1] is a bus company based in Stoke-on-Trent operating services in North Staffordshire. It is a subsidiary of FirstGroup.

History[edit]

Bristol VRT in PMT red and yellow livery at Wirral Bus & Tram Show October 2008
Plaxton Pointer bodied Dennis Dart at Hanley bus station in May 2009
Wright Axcess-Floline bodied Scania L94UB in Burslem in April 2009

The company began life as Potteries Motor Traction. As part of the privatisation of the National Bus Company, PMT Limited[2] was created on 12 December 1986 when it was purchased by its management and employees. The team leading PMT's buyout were managing director Mike Moors, traffic manager Steve Ellis, chief engineer Barry Parkinson and company secretary Nigel Barrett.

Expansion came quickly for PMT, and it had commenced operations outside its traditional North Staffordshire area a little over six weeks prior to purchase from NBC. On 25 October 1986, the day bus services in the UK were deregulated, a small outstation was established in the neighbouring town of Crewe. This was followed by a venture into Merseyside with the opening of a Red Rider outstation at Moreton on the Wirral Peninsula. A small operation in Leeds commenced in 1988, followed a year later by the winning of tenders in the West Midlands. This led to vehicles being outstationed at a haulage company's yard in Willenhall.

On 6 February 1990, PMT purchased the Wirral, Ellesmere Port and Chester operations of Crosville Motor Services from the Drawlane Group. PMT was later purchased by Badgerline before they in turn merged with GRT Group and formed FirstBus. The sale including the former Crosville operations in Chester and Wirral.

A network of services in Chester was acquired through the purchase of ChesterBus in 2007.[3] This business was integrated with the existing First Chester & The Wirral which already ran a network of services in these areas. The Chester & Wirral operations were sold to Stagecoach Merseyside in December 2012.[4][5]

First Potteries now operates mainly urban services in and around Stoke-on-Trent, Newcastle-under-Lyme and surrounding towns. Route numbers change & some buses have been repainted in the new livery as well as Wi-Fi being provided free of charge on new buses.

Liveries[edit]

The traditional colours of the PMT fleet were red and cream. During National Bus Company ownership in the 1970s and 1980s, poppy red and white livery was used. Following privatisation, the livery became red and yellow with the fleetname in a 'zipper' logo. Despite this, several variations were introduced to suit individual routes – Silverdale Shuttle and Bradwell Shuttle, which saw the red replaced with blue; Hospitalslink, a scheme used exclusively on a handful of minibuses and which was green-based; and Birches Head Townabout, again a minibus operation and which received a yellow and orange livery. Additionally, a pair of minibuses gained a purple and yellow variant to promote the Ball Green to Tunstall service.

All these liveries have now been completely superseded by the FirstGroup corporate livery. In 2011 a number of buses were repainted in PMT red and yellow when routes 25 and 26 were launched as gold services.

Two further double decker buses were repainted, one of which is in the old style red and cream PMT livery. The other in grey, red and yellow, an historic livery used on the original 320 Hanley-Crewe route.

Administration[edit]

In 2010, FirstGroup changed the management structure of First Potteries. The Staffordshire area operations are now part of First Midlands (which consists of First Leicester and First Wyvern) with its group office at Adderley Green, Stoke-on-Trent. The Cheshire and Merseyside area depots became part of First Manchester.

Crewe depot has been closed and has transferred vehicles and services to Newcastle-under-Lyme. In October 2013 First Potteries will take responsibility for First Midlands' depots in Hereford and Worcester in 2013.[6]

Fleet[edit]

As at March 2013 the fleet consisted of 185 buses.[7] First Potteries received its first new buses in 8 years in 2014. 9 out of 10 Brand New Wright Streetlite Max MicroHybrid vehicles were delivered to Adderley Green Depot. The 10th will be delivered in 2015 as it is currently on tour with Wrightbus. This vehicle is the first with FirstGroup to have a Euro6 engine.

Further new buses were bought in October 2016, with 8 new buses used to promote routes between the City Centre and Stoke Station. 1 more arrived in January 2017 but has yet to enter service.

Depot[edit]

First Potteries operate from one depot at Adderley Green and, in September 2015, closed Newcastle-under-Lyme.[7]

Routes & Timetables[edit]

Routes and timetables can be found on their website. [8]

See also[edit]

References[edit]

  1. ^ Companies House extract company no 2291753 First Potteries Limited
  2. ^ Companies House extract company no 2010514 Butler Woodhouse Limited formerly PMT Limited
  3. ^ First Group - UK bus firstgroup.com
  4. ^ Bus firm Stagecoach snaps up service from FirstGroup BBC News 12 November 2012
  5. ^ £4.5 million bus buyout for Stagecoach in region Chester Standard 12 November 2012
  6. ^ "First to break up SE & Midlands Region" Buses issue 703 page 6 October 2013
  7. ^ a b FirstGroup Fleetlist Steve White
  8. ^ First Potteries website, Timetables retrieved Jan 2017

External links[edit]