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First South Yorkshire
HeadquartersAbbey Lane Leicester
Service areaDoncaster
East Riding of Yorkshire
North East Derbyshire
Peak District
Service typeBus services
Fleet354 (January 2022)
Chief executiveNigel Eggleton

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


Alexander bodied Dennis Dominator at Sheffield bus station, 1998
Alexander bodied Dennis Dominator at Sheffield bus station, 1998
Alexander PS bodied Volvo B10M in March 2009
Alexander PS bodied Volvo B10M in March 2009
WrightBus bodied Wright Eclipse Gemini at Pond Street Sheffield in 2020
WrightBus bodied Wright Eclipse Gemini at Pond Street Sheffield in 2020

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. At the same time, the individual First Sheffield, First Rotherham, First Doncaster and First X78 brands were introduced. The First X78 brand was superseded by the Steel Link brand in 2015, while the First Rotherham brand was retired with the closure of the Rotherham depot in 2017.

It was announced on 27 May 2020 that First South Yorkshire and First Midlands will be merged to form the operating company First South Yorkshire and Midlands, under the management of First Midlands CEO, Nigel Eggleton.[3]


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 runs from Sheffield Interchange to Doncaster Frenchgate Interchange via Meadowhall, Rotherham and Conisbrough. From Monday to Saturday it operates every fifteen minutes during the day and every twenty minutes on Sundays and week day evenings.

Route X4, Airport Services, departs from Doncaster Frenchgate Interchange and arrives approximately twenty-two minutes later at Doncaster Sheffield Airport. This service was later withdrawn in 2018 and replaced by services 57 and 58.[4]

In September 2016, Steel Link route X1 commenced operating from Sheffield to Maltby via the Bus Rapid Transit North.[5][6][7]

First also run Peak District services 271 and 272, from Sheffield, across the South Yorkshire boundary and into Derbyshire in the Peak District. Local or South Yorkshire FirstDay/Week/Month along with South Yorkshire multi-operator tickets are only valid up to the Sheffield boundary. Special day tickets or Derbyshire multi-operator tickets must be purchased on board to travel on First South Yorkshire buses in Derbyshire.


As of January 2022, First South Yorkshire's fleet consists of 354 buses.

First SouthYorkshire have 7 Heritage Buses.


First South Yorkshire vehicles operate from two depots. These are Olive Grove in Sheffield, and Leger Way in Doncaster. As of March 2017 Rotherham services mainly operate from Sheffield's Olive Grove depot with some operating from Doncaster's Leger Way depot (Mainly X78) having previously operated from Rotherham's Midland Road depot which has now closed.

Sheffield's Olive Grove depot is the second biggest bus depot in the UK after First Glasgow's Caledonia depot, which can hold 450 buses. As of January 2022, 231 buses are based at Olive Grove depot.[8]


  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. ^ "Bosses replaced in Sheffield bus company turnaround plan". The Star. Retrieved 3 June 2020.
  4. ^ This is what you need to know about changes to bus services in Doncaster Doncaster Free Press August 2018
  5. ^ £29.8 million Bus Rapid Transit scheme set for launch Rotherham Metropolitan Borough Council 2 September 2016
  6. ^ Steel Link service for new £29.8 million BRT scheme Archived 15 September 2016 at the Wayback Machine Bus & Coach Professional 8 September 2016
  7. ^ Bus X1 Travel South Yorkshire
  8. ^ a b "First South Yorkshire fleetlist". Sheffield Omnibus Enthusiasts Society.