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Kernow (bus company)

  (Redirected from First Kernow)

Kernow[1] (formerly known as First Kernow) is a bus company operating services in Cornwall, England. It is part of First South West, a subsidiary of FirstGroup.

Kernow Logo.jpg
Penzance Greenmarket - First 53701 (LK05DYO).JPG
SloganCornwall by Kernow
ParentFirst South West
Service areaMid and West Cornwall
Service typeBus services



Preserved Eastern Coach Works bodied Leyland Olympian at Penzance bus station in April 2012
Atlantic Coaster Plaxton President bodied Dennis Trident 2 in June 2017

Kernow is a division of First South West, which was formed from two previous operators: Western National (in Cornwall and South Devon) and Red Bus (in North Devon).

First purchased Truronian coaches in 2008, which now forms part of Kernow.[2][3]


Kernow routes mainly cover central and west Cornwall, west of an imaginary line connecting Camelford, Bodmin and Fowey, although two services continue along the north coast from Camelford as far as Bude.

Kernow operates the Park for Truro service in Truro on behalf of Cornwall Council, as well as services intended primarily for university students between Truro, Redruth and Falmouth University campuses in Falmouth and Penryn (using route numbers prefixed U).

During the summer months, Kernow operates open top buses. In 2017, the service was relaunched under the Atlantic Coaster brand with Plaxton President bodied Dennis Trident 2s drafted in to replace the Alexander bodied Volvo Citybuses.[4]

Most Kernow routes are interurban or rural in character, but there are local town services in some of the larger urban areas – Falmouth, Newquay, Penzance and St Austell, as well as the Park & Ride service in Truro.

Kernow took over some of Western Greyhound's routes following that company’s sudden closure in March 2015, which meant that First returned in force to Newquay and neighbouring settlements (including Padstow, Perranporth and Wadebridge), where nearly all services had been operated by Western Greyhound for some years. Western Greyhound had also possessed some services in the Penzance and St Austell areas, most of which were also transferred to Kernow.

Alexander Dennis Enviro400 MMCs at Penzance bus station in 2017 in Tinner colours


The principal maintenance depot is at Camborne with a second in the Newquay area at Summercourt, which was acquired from Western Greyhound after that company had ceased to trade. The depots at Penzance and Truro also carry out some vehicle checks and minor maintenance.

Main depotsEdit

Other depotsEdit



Optare Solo SR at St Austell bus station in green fleet livery (May 2019)

First Kernow had an older fleet of buses, virtually all of which had been cascaded from other FirstGroup fleets. In late 2016/early 2017, First Kernow received 30 new Alexander Dennis Enviro 400 MMCs for use on its U1/U2 (blue livery) routes and the Tinner T1/T2 routes (red livery).[5] In 2018 a further 21 Enviro400 MMCs and 20 Alexander Dennis Enviro200 MMCs were delivered.[6]

Kernow converted several closed top buses to part open top for 'Atlantic Coaster' routes for the 2017 summer season.

A number of Optare Solo SR's were purchased in December 2018.

Most services use green buses or those in First Group corporate pastel colours. Certain branded routes have dedicated liveries:

  • red for the 'Tinner' (route numbers prefixed T) Truro-Camborne-Penzance/St Ives
  • blue for university services (prefix U) serving the Penryn and Falmouth campuses
  • teal for 'Atlantic Coasters' (prefix A) serving Penzance, St Ives, Newquay and Padstow.


  1. ^ Companies House extract company no 1669417 First South West Limited
  2. ^ First to buy Truronian Bus & Coach Professional 15 February 2008
  3. ^ Anticipated acquisition by Firstgroup plc of Truronian Limited Office of Fair Trading 11 April 2008
  4. ^ Kernow summer 2017 changes FirstGroup
  5. ^ First Kernow receives £7.4m Alexander Dennis fleet Coach & Bus Week 31 January 2017
  6. ^ First cements Cornish comeback with £8.4m order Buses issue 757 April 2018 page 8

External linksEdit

  Media related to First Devon and Cornwall at Wikimedia Commons