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First Glasgow is the largest bus company 'serving' the Greater Glasgow area in Scotland. It is a subsidiary of FirstGroup. The company operates within the area covered by the Strathclyde Partnership for Transport, a public body responsible for helping to co-ordinate public transport services in the Greater Glasgow area.

First Greater Glasgow
First Glasgow bus SF07 FDP.jpg
FoundedOctober 1996
LocaleGreater Glasgow
Service area
Service typeBus services
Fleet815 (June 2019)
WebsiteFirst Greater Glasgow


UVG Urbanstar bodied Dennis Dart SLF in Glasgow in April 2008

First Glasgow was created through FirstGroup's buyout of Strathclyde Buses (created from the former Greater Glasgow Passenger Transport Executive bus fleet, formerly the municipal Glasgow Corporation Transport), which had itself recently bought out the former Kelvin Central Buses (an amalgamation of Kelvin Scottish and Central Scottish, owned by the state-owned Scottish Bus Group).[1][2][3]

First Glasgow has two operator's licences:[4]

  • First Glasgow (No. 1) Limited[5] - the former Strathclyde Buses licence
  • First Glasgow (No. 2) Limited[6] - the former Kelvin Central Buses licence

Buses carry legal signwriting for First Glasgow Limited, despite of this having been a dormant company since at least 2008.[7]


First Glasgow mainly run services in Greater Glasgow and Lanarkshire areas of Strathclyde. However, some services do run outside of these areas. It was one of the first bus operators to introduce an "overground", a colour-coded set of bus routes with route branding on the bus exteriors and timetables. As of 2006, route branding has been removed from buses but remained on timetables until mid 2008. In May 2013 the company introduced a new network in Glasgow called SimpliCITY


First Glasgow introduced SimpliCITY in May 2013 as a way to improve bus services in Glasgow. This resulted in buses being branded and receiving route changes and timetable changes. In 2018, First began branding bus routes into colour-specific codes:

U1-Red 2 - Lime Green 3- Orange 9/9A - Pink 18 - Red 34/34A - Mint Green 38 - Mint Green 41 - Yellow 61 - Light Blue 65 - Purple 75 - Yellow 77 - Blue 201 - Purple 240 - Light Blue 241 - Red 242 - Bright Pink 254 - Orange 500 - Purple "Airport Express" X1/X3/X11/X85/X87 - Gold "Xpress"

Buses have been upgraded to improve the service. This encourages more people to use the bus service and helps customers to identify their bus routes easier.

Low Emission Zone 2018Edit

A new Enviro400 bus in the airport express livery in 2019

A Low Emission Zone (LEZ) covering Glasgow city centre was introduced on 31 December 2018; the first phase of this applying solely to local service buses.[8] In October and November 2018, to comply with the new emission standards, First Glasgow placed orders for 150 new buses from Falkirk-based Alexander Dennis[9][10], partly funded by the Scottish Green Bus Fund, a Transport Scotland subsidy.[11] The new buses started coming into service from October 2018, many in route-specific coloured branding, with launch events organised involving buses being wrapped in model-style packaging.[12]


Plaxton President bodied Dennis Trident 2 in Glasgow in July 2007

First Glasgow currently operates out of Five depots:

In May 2013, the Cumbernauld depot closed with staff, buses and services transferred to Larkfield, Parkhead and Blantyre depots.

The Larkfield depot in Glasgow's Govanhill[13] closed on 18 October 2014,[14] with all staff, buses and services moving to a new purpose-built facility on the site of the former Gushetfaulds railfreight terminal on nearby Cathcart Road.[15] The new depot and head office, known as Caledonia Depot, opened on 14 October 2014.[16] It was officially opened by First Minister of Scotland Nicola Sturgeon on 12 December 2014.[17][18]

In January 2016, the Parkhead (Glasgow east) depot closed after 93 years of operation, and services and drivers transferred to the new Caledonia Depot on Cathcart Road.[19][20]


  1. ^ Takeover nets bus workers £35,000 The Independent 10 May 1996
  2. ^ Bus takeover is finally cleared The Herald 1 August 1998
  3. ^ FirstBus Plc and SB Holdings Limited: A freport on the merger situation Competition Commission
  4. ^ About Us First Glasgow
  5. ^ Companies House extract company no SC097299 First Glasgow No 1 Limited formerly Strathclyde Buses Limited
  6. ^ Companies House extract company no SC127012 First Glasgow No 2 Limited formerly Kelvin Central Buses Limited
  7. ^ Companies House extract company no SC129033 First Glasgow Limited
  8. ^ Glasgow City Centre Rings in the New Year with Scotland's First Low Emission Zone Glasgow City Council, 1 January 2019. Retrieved 20 March 2019.
  9. ^ First Glasgow launches new fleet of eco-friendly buses ahead of city-wide low emissions zone Intelligent Transport, 16 October 2018. Retrieved 20 March 2019.
  10. ^ First Glasgow confirms plans to invest in 75 new ADL buses in 2019 Coach & Bus Week, 4 December 2018. Retrieved 20 March 2019.
  11. ^ Over £1 million to help green buses Transport Scotland, 31 December 2018. Retrieved 20 March 2019.
  12. ^ In pictures: First Glasgow launch new eco fleet with world’s largest model bus display in George Square The Sunday Post, 9 October 2018. Retrieved 20 March 2019.
  13. ^ First Larkfield Depot, 'For all the photos nobody else was daft enough to take', 28 February 2010
  14. ^ Plans for homes on former Larkfield bus depot site in Govanhill offcially submitted, Evening Times, 13 January 2018
  15. ^ "First's new £20m Glasgow depot". Bus and Coach Buyer. 7 February 2014. Retrieved 13 February 2014.
  16. ^ "We've moved". First Glasgow. 14 October 2014. Retrieved 16 October 2014.
  17. ^ First Minister Opens UK's Biggest Bus Depot in Glasgow First Group 12 December 2014
  18. ^ First Minister Nicola Sturgeon Opens New Caledonia Bus Depot Janus Architecture, 12 December 2014
  19. ^ First Glasgow to shut Parkhead depot after 93 years, Evening Times, 2 October 2015
  20. ^ All Aboard For Major Housing Development At Parkhead Bus Depot Site, reGlasgow, 30 August 2019

External linksEdit