FIRST buses has joined the swathe of city businesses offering freebies to runners in this year’s ABP Southampton Marathon.

The company has pledged to give free bus transport to those taking part in the event on Sunday April 22.

All runners need to do is show their official race bib to the driver and they can hop onto a bus into or out of the city for free.

The free travel is valid on City Red services 2, 7, and 11, ‘the three’ service, First services X4, X5, 6, 8 and 12.

Due to road closures there are restrictions in place to access the city centre.

Chris Chester, operations manager from First Southampton, said: “As a local business we look forward to the ABP Southampton Marathon every year. It’s a chance for us to showcase our great city to thousands of visitors.

“It’s our pleasure to support runners by offering free travel on race day. We know the chance to relax on our comfy seats on the way home will be a welcome one to those taking on all distances.”

Nikki Rees, from the ABP Southampton Marathon, added: “We’re thrilled that First has made this generous offer to our runners.

"The ABP Southampton Marathon is a huge event and it’s important to us to reduce the impact on traffic in the city on race day. With schemes like this encouraging use of public transport, we’re doing just that.”

There will be some alterations to usual First services on race day due to road closures.

For information on changes visit

Pictured l to r: Dave York (staff manager for First Bus in Southampton), Nikki Rees from the ABP Southampton Marathon and Chris Chester (Operations manager at First Hampshire Dorset and Berkshire)