First Bus leaves Southampton

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Saturday 18 February marked the final day of First Bus operations in Southampton, which also closes the history books on an operation that can trace its routes back to 1879. To mark the end of 144 years of operation, the Southampton & District Transport Heritage Trust operated its heritage fleet of former Southampton vehicles over three routes on Sunday 19 February. A special programme entitled ‘Farewell to Southampton’s red buses’ was produced by the charity, which sold out within an hour; it is planning to make more available. Local independent Xelabus also operated a classic Southampton vehicle over its former routes on Saturday 18 February.

Go South Coast’s Blusestar division took over operation of some of the former City Red bus routes on Sunday 19 February; see this week’s feature for more on this story.

Saturday 18 February was the last day of operation for First’s CIty Red operation. RAY WARD