First Leeds: Wikis


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First Leeds
Parent FirstGroup
Founded 1995, formerly Yorkshire Rider
Headquarters South Accommodation Road, Leeds
Service area Leeds, Bradford, Ilkley, Skipton
Service type Bus services
Web site

First Leeds is a bus operator based in Leeds in West Yorkshire, England. It is part of FirstGroup, and is the dominant public transport company in the city.



Following bus deregulation in 1986, the MetroBus (the West Yorkshire PTE) fleet was renamed Yorkshire Rider Ltd. The livery changed from verona green and buttermilk to a bright green and cream livery and a new logo with was 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 bought by its management for £23 million.

Yorkshire Rider was then bought by Badgerline, a Bristol-based bus company, in 1994. Following the merger of Badgerline with GRT Ltd to form First Bus in 1995, its services were rebranded:

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

These names were later replaced with First Leeds, First Calderline, First Huddersfield and First Bradford, but the legal name of the company is still Yorkshire Rider Ltd, trading as a First group service.

Until recently, First Quickstep, was also part of the First group. It was based at the same Kirkstall Road depot as First Leeds but was a separate organization. It is now a part of First Leeds and it runs the FreeCityBus service.

In July 2005 the company took over Morley-based Black Prince Buses, a large independent company that was once a rival to Yorkshire Rider. The Morley depot was closed down and the fleet was sold, with the exception of a couple of single-deckers and the large fleet of Scania N113 double-deckers, which were repainted into First livery and placed on the 2/3/3A and 12/13/13A services until summer 2007, when most of them were withdrawn and replaced by brand new Volvo B9TL Wright Eclipse Geminis. Some Scanias remained on the routes until early 2008 when more B9TLs arrived. There are still afew in service, used on a wide range of the company's services across West Yorkshire.

On 18 May 2008 the Kirkstall Road depot was closed after 111 years of public use and operations moved to a new complex in Hunslet[1]. The site will be redeveloped as part of Leeds City Council's Kirkstall Road Renaissance Area project[2].


First Leeds buses at Wetherby bus station.
An older First Leeds bus on service in Armley, 2009

The company has an extremely large fleet which includes Wright Eclipse Gemini, Solar and articulated buses (Volvo B10LA}, and Dennis Darts with Alexander Dash (new in 1995) and Plaxton Pointer (1996) bodies.

Other buses in the fleet include a large batch of Volvo B7TL's with Alexander ALX400 boywork new in 2000-2 and a sizable batch of Volvo Olympians with Alexander Royale bodywork new in 1997/8. Older double deckers include Leyland Olympians with Roe and Optare bodywork (Optares being new in 1985-7, built to a Roe design) bought in 1982-7 (of which a lot were withdrawn in 2006). They also have a big batch of Scania N113's, some new mainly with Alexander bodywork plus one with Northern Counties Palatine in 1990/1, some Alexanders from Black Prince (new in 1989-91) and some long-wheelbase East Lancs E-type bodied examples new to Hull in 1989. Most of the Scania double-deckers have been withdrawn or transferred within the Group, replaced by 30 new Wright Eclipse Geminis on Volvo B9TL chassis.

They also had a lot of Alexander Strider bodied Scania N113's new in 1993/4, of which many have been replaced by new Volvo Eclipse Gemini B9TL's. Low floor single deckers are mainly Wright bodied Scanias bought in 1998-9: early ones are L113 and later ones are the L94UB. The newest single deckers are Volvo B7RLE/Wright Eclipse Urbans new in spring 2009.


Leyland Atlantean

For many years the company operated a large fleet of Leyland Atlanteans, which were seen as Leeds' answer to the AEC Routemaster as they were the most popular and largest fleet in the city. The most popular of these was the Roe bodied Atlantean. The Atlanteans were well maintained running for nearly 4 decades and even with the introduction of low-floor Volvo B7TLs the buses remained in service until May 2004. Most of them have now either being scrapped or are in preservation, but they will always remain the symbol of Yorkshire Rider - the original Yorkshire Rider livery was designed primarily for the Atlantean.


First Leeds operates services mainly in the Leeds area but also run services into Bradford, Ilkley and Skipton. The services operate from various depots in Leeds.

List of routes

This is a summary of First Leeds services.

No. From To Via Notes
1 Holt Park ASDA Beeston Headingley, Leeds Brown Line
2 Roundhay Park Middleton Thorpe Lane Leeds Red Line
3 Brackenwood White Rose Centre Leeds Red Line
3A Gledhow White Rose Centre Leeds Red Line
4 ftr Whinmoor Pudsey Waterloo Seacroft, St James's Hospital, Leeds, Copley Hill ftr
5 Old Farnley Leeds / Scholes (Evenings and Sundays) Armley
5A Old Farnley Scholes Armley, Leeds, Seacroft
8 Pudsey Bus Station Seacroft Bus Station Farsley, Horsforth (via Northern Ring Road)
9 Seacroft Pudsey Cross Gates, Rothwell, Middleton, White Rose Centre Evenings and Sundays
12 Roundhay Park Middleton Arms Leeds, Belle Isle, Hunslet Blue Line
13 Brackenwood Middleton Thorpe Lane Leeds, Belle Isle, Hunslet Blue Line
13A Gledhow Middleton Thorpe Lane Leeds, Belle Isle, Hunslet Blue Line
Pudsey Bus Station Seacroft Bus Station Farsley, Bramley, Armley, Leeds, Gipton Claret Line
18 Tinshill Colton Headingley Stadium, Leeds, Whitkirk Pink Line (Rapid Guided Busway)
18A Ireland Wood East Garforth Inverness Road Headingley Stadium, Leeds, Whitkirk, Garforth Pink Line (Rapid Guided Busway)
28 Adel Clarence Dock Headingley, Leeds University, Leeds
Holt Park Horsforth
33 Otley Leeds City Bus Station Rawdon, Guiseley, Horsforth, Kirkstall Green Line (Otley Evenings and Sundays only) Terminates at Guiseley White cross Mon - Sat Daytime
33A Otley Leeds City Bus Station Menston, Guiseley, Yeadon, Rawdon, Horsforth, Kirkstall Green Line
Alwoodley Leeds Infirmary Street Scott Hall (Park & Ride), (Rapid Guided Busway)
Halton Moor Leeds Infirmary Street Beige Line
38 Gledhow White Rose Centre Headingley, Kirkstall, Wortley
40 Pudsey Station Street Seacroft Bus Station Stanningley, Armley, Leeds, Cross Gates Indigo Line (Rapid Guided Busway)
40A Pudsey Station Street Seacroft Bus Station Swinnow, Armley, Leeds, Cross Gates Indigo Line (Rapid Guided Busway)
42 Old Farnley Fearnville Leeds, St James's Hospital Mauve Line
44 Pudsey Owlcotes Centre Leeds Eastgate Pudsey, Bramley
44A Pudsey Owlcotes Centre Leeds Eastgate Farsley, Bramley
45 Shadwell Leeds Infirmary Street Scott Hall (Rapid Guided Busway)
49 Bramley Bus Garage Monkswood Gate Kirkstall, Leeds, St James's Hospital Purple Line
50 Seacroft Bus Station Horsforth Harehills, St James's Hospital, Leeds, Kirkstall Orange Line
50A Seacroft Bus Station Horsforth Harehills, St James's Hospital, Leeds, Kirkstall Orange Line
51 Morley Moor Allerton Centre Meanwood, Little London, Leeds, Leeds United FC, Churwell Magenta Line
55 Morley Tingley Mills Moor Allerton Centre Meanwood, Little London, Leeds, Holbeck, Cottingley, Morley
56 Whinmoor Moor Grange Cross Gates, Leeds, Headingley Stadium Turquoise Line (Rapid Guided Busway)
61 Cross Green Industrial Estate Leeds Eastgate Hunslet
62 Cross Green Industrial Estate St James's Hospital Leeds
63 Halton Dial Leeds Park Row
63A Temple Newsam Leeds Park Row
64 Aberford Old Cafe Gildersome Scholes, Cross Gates, Leeds, White Rose Centre, Morley (Rapid Guided Busway)
64A Aberford Old Cafe Gildersome Scholes, Cross Gates, Leeds, White Rose Centre, Morley (Rapid Guided Busway)
66 Tyersal Leeds Eastgate Pudsey, Old Farnley, Leysholme, Copley Hill
67 Bramley Leeds Eastgate Pudsey, Old Farnley, Leysholme, Copley Hill
71 Wigton Moor / Primley Park Leeds Infirmary Street Scott Hall Peach Line (Park & Ride), (Rapid Guided Busway)
Belle Isle Leeds Vicar Lane Beeston
78 Cross Gates Leeds Eastgate Woodhouse Ridge
80 Farsley Pudsey
85 Morley Leeds City Bus Station East Ardsley, Middleton
86 Bramley Middleton Armley, Holbeck
86A Bramley St James's Hospital Armley, Holbeck, Hunslet
87 Morley Leeds City Bus Station Cottingley, White Rose Centre, Middleton
87A White Rose Centre Leeds City Bus Station Middleton
Middleton Leeds City Bus Station Hunslet
90 Greengates Leeds Vicar Lane Pudsey, Troydale, Wortley
90A Tyersal Leeds Vicar Lane Pudsey, Troydale, Wortley
Pudsey Halton Moor (91)
St James's Hospital (91A)
Bramley, Headingley
92 Tannery Headingley Campus Leeds Uni-Link
95 Bodington Hall Leeds Rail Station Headingley Uni-Link
96 Holt Park Leeds City Bus Station Tinshill, Headingley Sky Blue Line
97 Guiseley Leeds City Bus Station Horsforth, Headingley, Rawdon, West Park
Wetherby Deighton Bar Leeds Infirmary Street Wetherby
98A Leeds Infirmary Street Thorp Arch Trading Estate
757 Otley Leeds City Bus Station Pool, Leeds Bradford Airport, Horsforth, Kirkstall Metroconnect
781 Otley Leeds Infirmary Street Pool, Arthington, Weardley, Harewood, Alwoodley, Moortown
960 Ilkley Ben Rhydding
960 Ilkley Ben Rhydding
961 Ilkley Hebers Gyhll
962 Ilkley Otley Burley
964 Otley Cambridge Drive
965 Otley Pool
966 Guiseley Westfield Yeadon Circular
967 Otley Menston
968 Otley Weston
FCB Leeds railway station Leeds railway station University of Leeds, Leeds City Bus Station Leeds FreeCityBus
X11 Bradford Leeds Eastgate Thornbury, Pudsey, Armley Limited Stop
X14 Thornbury Barracks Leeds Eastgate Pudsey, Armley Limited Stop
X84 Skipton Leeds City Bus Station Ilkley, Otley Limited Stop, Terminates at Ilkley Bus station: Evenings and Sundays
X98 Wetherby Deighton Bar Leeds City Square Wetherby Limited Stop


In the last few years, First has introduced the 'Overground' brand on services that are frequent during the daytime. Based on the London Underground, where each frequent line has a recognisable colour, each Overground service has its own colour. The concept is now a prominent fixture throughout all First bus companies in the UK.

In December 2007, First changed some of its Overground route colours. The 2 service changed from yellow to red, combining with services 3 & 3A, while the 12 service changed from green to Blue, combining with services 13 & 13A. The decision was made by First Leeds because they believed it would "make it simpler to identify where the buses go" [3]. In 2009 the 33/33A changed from the Light Green Line to the Green Line.

Late Night Buses

First Leeds operated two night bus services every Friday and Saturday night, the 921 and 928 until those services were withdrawn in April 2009. First also run night buses along daytime bus routes 56 and 95. Unilink Route 95 runs Monday to Saturday Nights and Route 56 (Turquoise Line) on Thursday, Friday and Saturday Nights.


On 3 January 2007, a new concept of public transport was introduced to Leeds, the ftr, on the Olive Line 4 service from Whinmoor to Pudsey.

It is the second scheme to be introduced by First Group after the first scheme in York. However the scheme in York has faced many troubles like underpowering of the engine and ticket machine problems. However the engine problems have been rectified and "Customer Service Hosts" have been employed who will issue tickets to passengers. Also unlike York where the 4 service was converted to ftr vehicle operation within a day. First decided to drip feed the ftr vehicles onto the service so passengers could get used to it and also minimise all other troubles that occurred in York.

The ftr are based on Wright StreetCar body which is on a Volvo B7LA chassis, but the chassis on the StreetCars are different from the conventional B7LA, with no "closet" at the rear of vehicle. The livery is designed by Ray Stenning's Best Impressions design agency.

See also


External links


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