Last update
13th October 2018

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First, through their predecessors, have a long history of serving Harlow. This ceased however when commercial route 333 was passed to Excel Coaches, itself following the loss of ECC tendered work in the area.

They returned to the Harlow scene in a very small way, picking up the one-bus 347 service from 6th July 2009, this lasting until November 2014. After a gap of 17 months they then returned with the one-bus approximately 2-hourly ECC Sunday service on the normally Arriva operated 59. The 59 is a number with a long history of connecting Harlow with Chelmsford and for most of that time it was an Eastern National or First service.

We will give some illustrations of vehicles seen operating on the 59 here. This page is in no way intended to reflect the very significant allocation of vehicles the company has around Chelmsford and the rest of Essex. A full First East of England fleet list can be found at

Alexander-Dennis Enviro200MMC
The most modern bus type to have seen service in Harlow from First is from this class. Four of the type are in the fleet at present and all are based at Chelmsford. The others are 44659/60/61.
44662 YX66WBG

First YX66WBG

With an equivalent class of vehicle from Arriva in the background, 44662 is seen on Sunday duty in Summer 2018. (R Hudson)

Alexander-Dennis E200/E20
A bus which was a regular visitor to the 347 was the very first to serve the new First 59 Sunday service. The Chelmsford City branding on some of the fleet is actually appropriate for the new task, although it was just as predominantly displayed on the last. The fleet size at Chelmsford is around 19, of which 15 carry this branding.

Leaving Harlow Bus Station is 44544 on the first day of the Sunday service on route 59 by First. (R. Hudson)
    First YX13AHO 44539 shows the Essex branding (this bus once carried Chelmsford City) and that the emergency exist door has been replaced without black window surrounds having been applied. (R. Hudson)

Dennis Dart SLF/Alexander Pointer
No fleet would be complete without some and First's Chelmsford Depot has a number. Those shown below have been noted in Harlow. There are others.

First SN05DZS

So-called "Barbie 2" livery is shown on 42936. (R Hudson)
    First SN05EAM The current First corporate livery is shown on 42930 on a September 2018 Sunday on the 59. (R Hudson)

Optare Solo M920
A large fleet of Solos once operated with First East of England, but this is now almost gone with just one example, 53139, still stationed at Chelmsford.
53139 EU54BNJ

53136 illustrates the Chelmsford City logo on a Solo, in this case the longer M920 version. (R Hudson)


Please note that this is an unofficial site, and whilst every effort has been made to ensure the information is accurate and up to date, no claims can be entertained for losses caused by any errors or omissions here, or through any shortcomings on the part of the operators themselves. We would be grateful if any errors could be notified to us, in order that we can make a prompt correction. Any suggestions, comments or other forms of feedback are most welcome by e-mail. This site acknowledges the support provided by local operators, but is not directly linked with any operator.

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