Thursday, 5 July 2012

Corporate First

Which one's your favourite?

Barbie 1 - First's ubiquitous livery across the whole UK network. The willow leaf is famous country wide, and the livery has graced many towns and cities around the country. It is now being gradually phased out for...

... what we at the FHD forum call the Marmite livery - you either seem to love it or hate it! A livery which will soon be all over the (shrinking) First empire, I think it suits a single decker more than the double decker. On the double decker, it has too many empty spaces in my opinion. Locally, FHD have applied branding on a number of their Darts and this certainly looks good too. I must say, the livery is growing on me, but I'd much rather the national livery to have come from the future...

... the ftr livery, found in Swansea, York and Stanstead airport amongst other areas. It looks great on Wright products and I think this should have been First's national livery. The colours are soothing and also can be modelled to work along the lines of different types of buses. This livery, in my opinion, is the only one in front of...

... the rail link / one time suburban livery. This looked great on coaches and buses alike in my view. The Volvo B7RLEs new to Somerset & Avon in 2005 looked great as they travelled between Bath and Bristol on the X39. This was regularly applied to coaches, but now it seems they have gone for a plain and rather boring white with accompanying willow leaf.

Finally, Barbie 2. The real love it or hate it livery. It suited some buses down to the ground, whereas when the fades faded it made the bus look dreadful. I think this livery could have been more effective if it were not for the unclear directives. A low floor bus without the corporate interior was the requirement, although this was never rigidly adhered to. Furthermore, painting a bus in a livery to show it is "inferior" was always rather strange too - not one of the premier fleet in Barbie 1. I miss Barbie 2 - it added variety and on the right bus looked fantastic. I thought it suited the Dennis Dart SLF/Pointer 2 styling brilliantly, but not many received the livery. It has been long consigned to the history books at FHD, and I think First Cymru has just withdrawn the last Barbie 2 bus in the south.

What's your favourite?


  1. I quite like their new livery, although in Southampton, Bluestars still wins outright. Their new livery still seems quite out dated, and something a bit more modern looking would have been nicer. Compare it to their rail network, where the liveries are off to an art. Modern, recognisable, as well as looking smart.

  2. Which one do I prefer? Stagecoach!