First South Yorkshire

First South Yorkshire

Plaxton President-bodied Dennis Trident in November 2013
Parent FirstGroup
Founded 1989
Headquarters Rotherham
Service area Barnsley
North East Derbyshire
Peak District
East Riding of Yorkshire
Service type Bus services
Depots 3
Fleet 493 (March 2016)
Website First South Yorkshire

First South Yorkshire[1] is the largest bus operator in South Yorkshire. It is a subsidiary of FirstGroup.


Alexander RH bodied Dennis Dominators in 2001
Alexander PS bodied Volvo B10M in March 2009
Plaxton Pointer bodied Dennis Dart in September 2008

In 1989 the Mainline brand was introduced by South Yorkshire Transport. Buses operated with Sheffield Mainline names in a bright red and yellow livery, replacing the previous "coffee and cream" livery. It was followed by Doncaster Mainline in a silver grey and red livery relieved by a light yellow band and finally Rotherham Mainline, whose buses were painted blue and yellow.

In 1992 the locality was dropped when Mainline became the standard fleetname across South Yorkshire. A common red and yellow livery with silver and blue bands was introduced.

In November 1993 South Yorkshire Transport sold Mainline in a management buyout.[2] Shortly after Stagecoach purchased a 20% stake in the company, however this was sold in 1995 to FirstBus.

In 1998 FirstGroup purchased the remaining 80% shareholding and renamed the business First Mainline. Buses were repainted in a simplified red and yellow livery, reminiscent of the original 1989 Sheffield Mainline livery. In 2000 First Mainline was rebranded as First South Yorkshire and the corporate light grey, blue and pink livery introduced.

In 2013, First South Yorkshire began to paint buses into First's new Olympia corporate livery, which is an updated version of the former livery.


First South Yorkshire operate services in Doncaster, Rotherham and Sheffield. Due to bus services history and number changes, some routes share service numbers within South Yorkshire.

Route X78 is a service which goes from Sheffield Interchange via Medaowhall, Rotherham and arriving 90 minutes later at Doncaster Frenchgate Interchange. From Monday to Saturday it operates every ten minutes during the day and every fifteen minutes on Sundays and week day evenings.

Route 91, Airport Services, departs from Doncaster Frenchgate Interchange and arrives approximately twenty-eight minutes later at Robin Hood Airport. This bus has luggage racks for passengers located at the front of the bus.

In September 2016, Steel Link route X1 commenced operating from Sheffield to Maltby via the Bus Rapid Transit North.[3][4][5]

First also run Peak District services; 272, from Sheffield, across the South Yorkshire boundary and into Derbyshire in the Peak District. Local or South Yorkshire FirstDay/Week/Month tickets are only valid up to the Sheffield boundary. Special day tickets must be purchased on board to travel on First South Yorkshire buses in Derbyshire.


As of March 2016, the fleet consisted of 493 vehicles.[6]


First South Yorkshire vehicles operate from three depots. These are Olive Grove in Sheffield, Midland Road in Rotherham, and Leger Way in Doncaster.[6] Midland Road depot also acts as the headquarters of First South Yorkshire.

Sheffield's Olive Grove depot is the biggest bus depot in Europe.


  1. Companies House extract company no 2332529 First South Yorkshire Limited formerly Mainline Group Limited formerly The Hallam Bus Company Limited
  2. South Yorkshire Transport Authority Sells Off Bus Company to Staff Local Government Chronicle 18 November 1993
  3. £29.8 million Bus Rapid Transit scheme set for launch Rotherham Metropolitan Borough Council 2 September 2016
  4. Steel Link service for new £29.8 million BRT scheme Bus & Coach Professional 8 September 2016
  5. Bus X1 Travel South Yorkshire
  6. 1 2 FirstGroup Fleetlist Steve White
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