First Bradford

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First Bradford
Founded 1998, formerly Bradford Traveller (Yorkshire Rider)
Headquarters Bowling Back Lane, Bradford
Area served
Bradford, Halifax, Huddersfield, Leeds

First Bradford is one of the bus companies serving the area of West Yorkshire, England. It forms part of FirstGroup. The company operates the majority of services in the Bradford area, covered by Metro, a public body responsible for helping to co-ordinate public transport services in the West Yorkshire area.


First Bradford originally formed part of the Yorkshire Rider company in the 1980s and 1990s, which operated most of the services in the West Yorkshire area, the company was formed in 1986 at the time of deregulation with the town suffix at the end of the name. Yorkshire Rider continued operation of services until 1994 when the company was purchased by Badgerline, which would merge with GRT Group in 1995 to form the First Group, the services being renamed Bradford Traveller.

In 1996, the First logo started to appear on services and was given its own individual livery, changing from the green and white of Yorkshire Rider to a two-tone blue with red livery. In 1998, the 'First' prefix was adapted to the names of the companies, with the company taking on its current name. First Bradford and would incorporate First Group's standard livery now seen on the majority of First services in the country by 2000.

First Card[edit]

First Card is a cashless way of paying for fares within the city. Similar to the Oyster Card scheme in London, one can store cash to pay for your fare, an annual pass available in daily, weekly, monthly and yearly subscriptions or a combination. This scheme is now withdrawn.

Bus services[edit]

First Bradford bus on Market Street in 2014.

First Bradford operates services mainly in the Bradford areas but also run services into Halifax, Huddersfield and Leeds.

Free City Bus[edit]

First Bradford operated the FreeCityBus service through a partnership including themselves, Metro and City of Bradford Metropolitan District Council. This free service is a loop around the city, connecting major shopping areas, rail stations and transport interchanges, City Hall, the city College and University[1] In 2015, the service passed into the hands of Ladies Only Travel, the buses used were repainted into their livery and a £1 charge was added to the service.

Previous Services[edit]


First Bradford operated the trial service of a new electric minibus which operated within the hilly pedestrianised areas of the city centre. It was hoped this service would replace the old 600 Shop Hopper service once the Westfield Bradford project was completed. However, the Free City Bus has been favoured over this idea.

City Circle[edit]

In October 2008 it was announced that both City Circle services, 601 and 602 would be cancelled. This was due to low passenger numbers, however some services in the peaks could become quite overcrowded. First introduced a revised service 680 and a brand new service 619 which would replace the route of the City Circle in the west of the city. Passengers in East Bradford are still awaiting replacement services.

Guided Busway[edit]

Bradford's Manchester Road Quality Bus Initiative is a £12m ground breaking project developed and funded by a public & private sector partnership consisting of Bradford Council, Metro -with the benefit of Department for Transport Local Government and the Regions (DTLR) funding through the local Transport Plan and First who also invested £1m in the scheme's infrastructure.

Extending along 3.7 kilometres of one of the City's main arteries the initiative aims to deliver significant improvements to Public Transport in the South Bradford area and ease congestion on the City's main southern approach. The initiative includes 2.3 km of guided busway & 1.2 km of dedicated bus lanes.

The work to create the guiedway took over a year to complete The combination of bus-only guideways, dedicated bus lanes, modern bus stops and shelters, and a fleet of modern, low floor buses specially adapted to run in the guideways, will mean passengers can enjoy more reliable services, improved surroundings, better ride quality and quicker journey times.

The Manchester Road scheme consists of a combination of Guided Busways and Bus Lanes together with pedestrian and cycling facilities. The inbound section of Bus Lane run from Croft Street to Bowling Old Lane and Mayo Avenue to Odsal Top and the outbound guideway runs from Bowling Old Lane to Mayo Avenue. The points where buses leave these facilities to enter into the general traffic on the approach to junctions are controlled by traffic signals.

Measures improving bus stops, shelters, lighting and information about bus services are part of the development. First are committed to providing modern buses on the corridor, which will give them priority to bypass congestion and minimise delays often experienced at junctions.[2]

See also[edit]


  1. ^ "Free city & town buses - Bradford freecitybus". Metro. Archived from the original on 19 September 2012. Retrieved 31 October 2011.
  2. ^ "Guided Bus Ways - Bradford". First Group. Retrieved 31 October 2011.

External links[edit]