Farewell to Southampton’s red buses

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A former Southampton Corporation bus still seen regularly in its home city is this fine 1967 Neepsend-bodied AEC Regent V. XELABUS/SADTHT

The closure of First’s Southampton City Red operation will be marked by a heritage running day, reports Nick Larkin

The end of 144 years of transport history in Southampton will be marked with a special event on Sunday 19 February. The previous day, First is due to cease its Southampton-based City Reds operations, severing a direct link with the horse tram operator which brought public transport to the city in 1879. Municipally-owned Southampton Corporation Transport took over in 1898 and post-war became renowned as a major operator of Guy Arab buses and, later, Leyland Atlanteans. Post-deregulation the operator morphed into the arm’s-length Southampton Citybus, which became employee owned in 1993 and was sold to First in 1997.


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