Leyland Olympian at the Wirral Bus & Tram
Show in October 2008
|Service type||Bus services|
|Fleet||185 (March 2013)|
|Fuel type||Diesel (plus 10 MicroHybrids)|
|Chief executive||Nigel Eggleton (Managing Director First Midlands)|
The company began life as Potteries Motor Traction. As part of the privatisation of the National Bus Company, PMT Limited was created on 12 December 1986 when it was purchased by its management and employees. The team leading PMT's buyout were managing director Mike Moors, traffic manager Steve Ellis, chief engineer Barry Parkinson and company secretary Nigel Barrett.
Expansion came quickly for PMT, and it had commenced operations outside its traditional North Staffordshire area a little over six weeks prior to purchase from NBC. On 25 October 1986, the day bus services in the UK were deregulated, a small outstation was established in the neighbouring town of Crewe. This was followed by a venture into Merseyside with the opening of a Red Rider outstation at Moreton on the Wirral Peninsula. A small operation in Leeds commenced in 1988, followed a year later by the winning of tenders in the West Midlands. This led to vehicles being outstationed at a haulage company's yard in Willenhall.
On 6 February 1990, PMT purchased the Wirral, Ellesmere Port and Chester operations of Crosville Motor Services from the Drawlane Group. PMT was later purchased by Badgerline before they in turn merged with GRT Group and formed FirstBus. The sale including the former Crosville operations in Chester and Wirral.
A network of services in Chester was acquired through the purchase of ChesterBus in 2007. This business was integrated with the existing First Chester & The Wirral which already ran a network of services in these areas. The Chester & Wirral operations were sold to Stagecoach Merseyside in December 2012.
First Potteries now operates mainly urban services in and around Stoke-on-Trent, Newcastle-under-Lyme and surrounding towns. As of July 2014, there have been changes to route numbers & some buses have been repainted in the new livery as well as Wi-Fi being provided free of charge.
The traditional colours of the PMT fleet were red and cream. During National Bus Company ownership in the 1970s and 1980s, poppy red and white livery was used. Following privatisation, the livery became red and yellow with the fleetname in a 'zipper' logo. Despite this, several variations were introduced to suit individual routes – Silverdale Shuttle and Bradwell Shuttle, which saw the red replaced with blue; Hospitalslink, a scheme used exclusively on a handful of minibuses and which was green-based; and Birches Head Townabout, again a minibus operation and which received a yellow and orange livery. Additionally, a pair of minibuses gained a purple and yellow variant to promote the Ball Green to Tunstall service.
All these liveries have now been completely superseded by the FirstGroup corporate livery. In 2011 a number of buses were repainted in PMT red and yellow when routes 25 and 26 were launched as gold services.
In 2010, FirstGroup changed the management structure of First Potteries. The Staffordshire area operations are now part of First Midlands (which consists of First Leicester and First Wyvern) with its group office at Adderley Green, Stoke-on-Trent. The Cheshire and Merseyside area depots became part of First Manchester.
Crewe depot has been closed and has transferred vehicles and services to Newcastle-under-Lyme. In October 2013 First Potteries will take responsibility for First Midlands' depots in Hereford and Worcester in 2013.
As at March 2013 the fleet consisted of 185 buses. First Potteries received its first new buses in 8 years in 2014. 9 out of 10 Brand New Wright Streetlite Max MicroHybrid vehicles were delivered to Adderley Green Depot. The 10th will be delivered in 2015 as it is currently on tour with Wrightbus. This vehicle is the first with FirstGroup to have a Euro6 engine.
- Companies House extract company no 2291753 First Potteries Limited
- Companies House extract company no 2010514 Butler Woodhouse Limited formerly PMT Limited
- First Group - UK bus firstgroup.com
- Bus firm Stagecoach snaps up service from FirstGroup BBC News 12 November 2012
- £4.5 million bus buyout for Stagecoach in region Chester Standard 12 November 2012
- "First to break up SE & Midlands Region" Buses issue 703 page 6 October 2013
- FirstGroup Fleetlist Steve White
|Wikimedia Commons has media related to FirstGroup buses in the United Kingdom.|