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First London is one of many operators of London Buses and owned by First Group. They did also run the Tramlinkmarker network, in a partnership with Tramtrack Croydonmarker before June 2008. Their registered office is at Paddington stationmarker in Londonmarker. First London is a widely known bus company in West London and North West London, as nearly all the routes in that area are operated by First London.

First London has the operator with the third largest number of London Buses routes, after Go-Ahead London (1st place), and Arriva London (2nd place).

In 2005, First Centrewest was reported as the bus company with the fifth-most complaints filed with Transport for London, after Arriva London North (1st place), Metroline (2nd place), East London (3rd place) and Arriva London South (4th place).

Company history

First entered bus operations in Londonmarker 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 three registered companies. They all share the same main address.

First Capital East Ltd

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


This garage holds 101 buses, and runs London bus routes 150, 165, 179, 193, 252, 365, 498, D6, D8, school routes 370D, 646, 649, 650, 652, 656, 679 and 686. They previously operated a garage in Romfordmarker (Harold Wood) which closed in 2004, and was an outstation of Dagenham.

Bus types in use

First Capital North Ltd

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

Lea Interchange (Stratford Olympic)

This garage holds 129 buses, and runs London bus routes 58, 308, 309, 323, 339, 488, D7, ELW, RV1, W11 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 Stratfordmarker area on a former industrial site. In 2004 the garage received Mercedes-Benz Citaro Hydrogen 'Fuel Cell' buses for evaluation on route 25 and subsequently on route RV1.

Bus types in use

Northumberland Park

This garage holds 125 buses, and runs London bus routes 67, 191, 212, 215, 231, 259, 299, 357, 385, 389, 399, 476, W6, W10, W12, school routes 616, 692 and 699 and 24-hour route 341. The garage was opened in 1991 to house the Walthamstowmarker 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

First Centrewest London Buses Ltd

First Centrewest London Buses Ltd operate 7 bus garages in Alpertonmarker, Greenfordmarker, Hayesmarker, Uxbridgemarker, Westbourne Park and Willesden Junctionmarker.


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 Cricklewoodmarker, Hanwellmarker, Harrow Wealdmarker, and Willesdenmarker 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 STLs.

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


The Greenford garage holds 107 buses, and runs London bus routes 95, 195, 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.

From late 2003 until 14 March 2009 Ealing Community Transport operated London route - 195 from the Greenford depot using garage code EY.

Bus types in use


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

Bus types in use


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 stationmarker 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 Uxbridgemarker into Shepherds Bushmarker. 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

Westbourne Park

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

Bus types in use

Willesden Junction

The Willesden Junction garage holds 60 buses, and runs London bus routes 18, 187, 226, 228, 487 and PR2.

Bus types in use

See also


External links

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