First London

First London

First London is one of many operators of London Buses and owned by First Group. They also run the Tramlink network, in a partnership with Tramtrack Croydon. Their registered office is at Paddington station in London.

Company history

First entered bus operations in London in 1997 after acquiring First CentreWest and First Capital in 1998. More recently, the two divisions have been re-organised into one brand, "First London", split into two areas: First London West (the former CentreWest) and First London East (the former Capital area). Local identities, such as the old "First Gold Arrow" and "First Challenger" CentreWest brands have also been discarded in favour of the simpler "First" identity. First Berkshire's (the former First Beeline) operations have also been transferred to First London management.

Legally, operations are split between four registered companies. They all share the same main address.

First Capital East Ltd

First Capital East Ltd operates one bus garage based in Dagenham.


This garage holds 101 buses, and runs London bus routes 150, 165, 179, 193, 252, 309, 323, 365, 498, D6, D8, school routes 370D, 646, 649, 650, 652, 656, 679 and 686. They previously operated a garage in Romford which has since closed.

Bus types in use

* Volvo B7TL/Wright Eclipse Gemini (VNW)
* Dennis Dart SLF/Caetano Nimbus (DMC)
* Dennis Dart SLF/Marshall Capital (DM/DMS/DML)
* Dennis Trident 2/Plaxton President (TN/TNL)
* Alexander Dennis Enviro400 (DN)
* Alexander Dennis Enviro200 Dart (DML)

First Capital North Ltd

First Capital North Ltd operates two bus garages - one in Hackney Wick, and one in Northumberland Park.

Lea Interchange (Hackney Olympic)

This garage holds 129 buses, and runs London bus routes 58, 212, 308, 339, 488, D7, ELW, RV1, W11, W12, and 24-hour route 236. The garage was opened in 2007 to replace the original depot in Waterden Road that was closed to due development of the Olympic Park for London 2012. The original Waterden Road depot was opened in 1996 to cope with the tender wins in the Stratford area on a former industrial site. In 2004 the garage received Hydrogen 'Fuel Cell' buses for evaluation on route 25 ans subsequently on route RV1.

Bus types in use

* Dennis Dart SLF/Marshall Capital (DMS/DML/DM)
* Mercedes-Benz Citaro (ES)
* Dennis Trident 2/Plaxton President (TN/TNL)
* Optare Solo (OOS)

Northumberland Park

This garage holds 125 buses, and runs London bus routes 67, 91, 191, 215, 231, 259, 299, 318, 357, 385, 389, 399, 476, W6, W10, school routes 616, 692 and 699, 24-hour route 341, and Night route N91. The garage was opened in 1991 to house the Walthamstow Citybus operation, an offshoot of Capital Citybus, the operation steadily grew especially after the collapse of the London Forest company. Capital Citybus was bought out by the management team in late 1995, and subsequently by First Group in 1998 becoming First Capital.

Bus types in use

* Dennis Dart SLF/Marshall Capital (DM)
* Alexander Dennis Enviro400 (DN)
* Dennis Trident 2/Plaxton President (TN/TNL)
* Volvo B7TL/Plaxton President (VNL)

First Centrewest London Buses Ltd

First Centrewest London Buses Ltd operate 7 bus garages in Alperton, Greenford, Hayes, Uxbridge, Westbourne Park and Willesden Junction.

Acton (now closed)

Acton Bus Garage held 27 buses running London bus route 427 and night route N207 until its closure on the night of 14 March 2008. Originally opened in 1896 as a horse tram depot, and later saw electric trams and trolleybuses before being used as a storage facility for LT's cables division storing underground electricity cables. It was opened as a bus garage in 1990 with buses for route 207, and in 1993 together with a new site at Greenford it replaced the large Hanwell garage. In 1996 to celebrate the centenary of the garage all the allocated buses were adorned with commemorative badges. On the conversion to articulated buses and splitting of route 207 in 2005, a new garage was built at Hayes, and the space at Acton was filled by a new route 427. The garage also handled maintenance for the ECA (Mercedes bendies) on route 18 whilst the garage at Willesden Junction was completed. The garage was still known as the Acton Tram Depot until its closure in 2008, with the Dennis Trident 2/Plaxton President TNLs for routes 427 and N207 relocating to Hayes garage.


Their Alperton garage holds 91 buses, and runs London bus routes 79, 92, 223, 224, 245, 24-hour route 83, Mobility route 972 and Night route N18. It was one of three garages built by the LPTB, and the only one to survive, Alperton Garage opened in June 1939. When it opened it had an allocation entirely of STL's which were reshuffled from Cricklewood, Hanwell, Harrow Weald, and Willesden garages. As Alperton was a new garage and had plenty of headroom it was one of the few garages able to take utility Guy Arabs, and at one stage these made up its complete allocation and lasted until 1954 when they were replaced by STL's! By 1972 the local area had grown faster than expected and even though Alperton was a new garage it still needed to park a dozen or so buses on nearby Glacier Metals car park overnight. The garage was enlarged in 1978, and encompassed the adjacent LT Lifts and escalators department which had to move out to new premises. During the reconstruction works 18 vehicles were outstationed at Stonebridge. in 1982 the garage allocation was entirely Metrobuses both crewed and OPO. One Metrobus still remains although this is used exclusively on the 'Neasden Tesco' contract. By 1995 Alperton was doing most of the maintenance for the Centrewest operation and had also become the home of the training fleet.

Bus types in use

* Dennis Dart SLF/Marshall Capital (DM/DML)
* Volvo B7TL/Plaxton President (VNL)
* Volvo B7TL/Wright Eclipse Gemini (VNW/VNZ)
* Volvo B7TL/East Lancs Vyking (VNE)


The Greenford garage holds 107 buses, and runs London bus routes 95, 282, E1, E3, E5, E7, E9, E10 and 24-hour route 105.


Greenford bus depot is part of a local council depot and was first used in 1993 as a midibus base. The opening of Greenford garage led to the closure of Hanwell, and in 1995 the garage was operating 110 midibuses. The standard fare of vehicles in the late 1990s were Renault/Wright midibuses, and Marshall Minibuses but both types had a bad reputation and did not last long. In recent years the allocation has been much diverse, ranging from Marshall-bodied Darts to Dennis Trident 2/Plaxton vehicles.

In late 2003 Ealing Community Transport moved into the depot with their first London route - 195 using garage code EY.

Bus types in use

* Dennis Dart SLF/Marshall Capital (DMS/DML)
* Dennis Trident 2/Plaxton President (TN/TNL)


The Hayes garage holds 25 buses, and runs London bus route 207, 427 and Night bus N207.

Bus types in use

* Mercedes-Benz Citaro (EA)
* Dennis Trident 2 10.5m / Plaxton President (TNL)


The Uxbridge garage was built for 76 buses, however holds 88, and runs London bus routes 331, 607, A10, U1, U2, U3, U4, U5, U10, and night route N207. The original Uxbridge Garage was over a mile out of town on the Oxford road and was built by the LGOC in 1921, but passed to Thames Valley a year later. The garage was taken back by the LGOC in 1929 to work its new local routes which were operated mainly by single deckers. An extension was added in the late 1940s and a new garage was planned, although work didn't begin until the 1980s. The new garage came into commission in late 1983 and is situated next to the underground station occupying the lower ground floor of a multi use building. In 1989 the garage began operating the U-Line network of local routes in an initiative by London Transport. The garage also operated the busy 207 and express verion 607 from Uxbridge into Shepherds Bush. In 1995 the garage was allocated all 14 of London's first low-floor single decker, Dennis Lance SLF/Wright-bodied vehicles.

Bus types in use

* Dennis Dart SLF/Marshall Capital (DML)
* Alexander Dennis Enviro200 Dart (DML)
* Dennis Trident 2/Plaxton President (TN/TNL)
* Dennis Dart SLF/Caetano Nimbus (DMC)

Westbourne Park

The Westbourne Park garage holds 181 buses, and runs London bus routes 9 (Heritage), 10, 28, 31, 328, 414, 24-hour route 23, 295 and night routes N10, N28, and N31.

Bus types in use

* Alexander Dennis Enviro400 (DN)
* AEC Routemaster (RM)
* Dennis Trident 2/Plaxton President (TN/TNL)
* Volvo B7TL/Plaxton President (VN)
* Volvo B7TL/Alexander ALX400 (VNL)
* Dennis Trident 2/Alexander ALX400 (TNA)
* Volvo B7TL/Wright Eclipse Gemini (VNW)

Willesden Junction

The Willesden Junction garage holds 60 buses, and runs London bus routes 18, 187, 226, 487 and PR2.some bendy buses for the 207 are parked there over night.

Bus types in use

* Mercedes-Benz O530G Citaro (articulated) (EA)
* Dennis Dart SLF/Marshall Capital (DM/DML)

First Tram Operations Ltd

First Tram Operations Ltd (FTOL) are responsible for operating the tram service on Tramlink. FTOL provides the staff, operational control and other aspects of Tramlink operations, under contract to Tramtrack Croydon Limited (TCL), who hold the design, build, maintain and operate concession for the system on behalf of TfL. TCL takes direct responsibility for Tramlink’s infrastructure, including the track and tram stops.cite web | title = FirstGroup - UK Bus London - Croydon Tramlink | url = | publisher = FirstGroup Ltd | accessdate = 2008-05-19]

FTOL operates out of a single tram depot, at Therapia Lane in Croydon.cite web | title = FirstGroup - UK Bus London - Croydon Tramlink | url = | publisher = FirstGroup Ltd | accessdate = 2008-05-19]

Therapia Lane

This depot holds 24 trams, and runs Tramlink routes 1, 2 and 3.cite web | title = FirstGroup - UK Bus London - Croydon Tramlink | url = | publisher = FirstGroup Ltd | accessdate = 2008-05-19]

Tram types in use

* Bombardier Transportation Flexity Swift CR-4000


External links

* [ First Group]

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