How the company started

1880 The Northampton Street Tramways Company was formed on the 9th January and commenced its operations using 5 double deck horse drawn open top tramcars.
1894 Horse drawn single deck, one person operated buses were introduced to Far Cotton.
1901 After some expansion on 21st October the "Northampton Corporation" took over the Company and commenced its own operations with Twenty One horse drawn trams and three horse drawn buses. Routes operated ran from the Drapery to Kingsthorpe Library, and All Saints to Franklins Gardens, Wellingborough Road (Manfield Factory) and Kettering Road (Kingsley Park Road) and one horse bus route from All Saints to Far Cotton (Abbey Road)
1904 The tram sheds, which stood in Abington Street now the site of the Central Library, were replaced by new car sheds at St James End in time for electric operation of routes. Twenty electric tramcars of an open top double deck single truck design first operated on the 21st July on the St James, Wellingborough Road and Kettering Road routes and the remaining horse trams on Kinsthorpe were finally replaced on the 19th August
1907 The original buses were replaced by double deckers and the stables in the ridings were handed over to the war department
1914 On the 22nd October the last horse drawn bus operated
1921 The electric tram fleet expanded and the last new tram was bought in this year, the Corporation operated a fleet of 33 double deck and 4 single deck vehicles
1923 The Corporation tried out its first motorbuses, these were 28 seater Thorneycrofts with Brush single deck bodies Thorneycrofts and Guys figured prominently in the early motorbus orders with a large proportion of bodywork coming from the local firm of Grose
1926 The first double deck motorbuses were purchased they were 2 Guy six wheelers with Grose bodywork & were the forerunners of a fleet of 18 such vehicles, these were used to replace the trams and so started a gradual conversion to motorbus operation
1934 On 16th December the last tramcar operated from Far Cotton to St James depot. More double deckers were purchased but this time of Crossley manufacture.
1936 Eventually Crossley were to supply 28 chassis & the Corporation decided to purchase vehicles of other makes in order to determine future vehicle policy. Daimler became the standard marque & altogether 193 were purchased until Leyland manufacturing policy prevented further purchases
1973 Only 13 vehicles of non Daimler origin were purchased, 1 Leyland and 10 Crossley at a time when vehicles of any make were hard to come by. Also 2 A.E.C single decks which were used to inaugurate a new service jointly operated with U.C.O.C. 1973 also saw the introduction into service of 20 single deck Daimler fleetlines
1974 Twelve Leyland national vehicles were introduced into service
1977 Northampton Transport operated its first rear engined double deckers, when the first of 36 Bristol VRT's entered service. This then became the standard Northampton vehicle
1979 Additions to the fleet included 2 Bristol LHS with 30 seat single deck bodies by ECW. These were acquired to inaugurate a new service in an area which could not accommodate the conventional vehicle operated by Northampton Transport
1981 The 4th June was the 100th anniversary of public transport in Northampton on an organised scale
1984 Six double deckers were delivered
1985 As a result of the Transport Act 1985 Northampton Transport Ltd was formed as a commercial organisation
1986 The first 2 Volvos with double deck coach bodies were delivered. These were designed with long distance travel in mind & had comfortable seating with some tables, radio cassette, extra luggage accommodation and were capable of 50 mph
1988 Further double decker Volvos were delivered
1989 Volvo saloons were delivered
1993 Northampton Transport was taken over by GRT
1995 The first delivery of Low Floor buses arrived
1996 A new batch of school contracts were successfully tendered
1997 Gas buses arrived and were launched on 7th May at Sixfields Stadium. December saw FirstGroup replace the former FirstBus name and "Northampton Transport" became First Northampton
1998 April saw the First Northampton depot flooded when the River Nene burst its banks. More than Thirty buses suffered flooded engines which put them completely out of action for Good Friday and Easter Saturday. The water also caused substantial damage to office buildings
1999 New initiatives launched including passenger charter, branded routes and ticketing initiatives along with new contracts have shown an increase in patronage given a positive attitude to public transport in Northampton.
2000 Keep your eyes peeled for new Group and Local Initiatives / Schemes which will be introduced in the future months.


This site contains maps, lists of destinations and timetables of First Northampton bus services in and around the Northampton area.