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All across the Great Western territory => Buses and other ways to travel => Topic started by: Chris from Nailsea on October 08, 2013, 11:39:15 pm



Title: Bus services in Cornwall - route and operator changes - First Bus, Plymouth Citybus, Western Greyhound
Post by: Chris from Nailsea on October 08, 2013, 11:39:15 pm
From the BBC (http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/uk-england-cornwall-24445810):

Quote
Cornwall Council has said it "cannot rule out" the loss of further bus services with low passenger numbers.

The warning comes as it reveals full details of changes to Cornwall's bus routes - including some services to replace those that were to be axed.

The cuts were blamed on reductions in the council's public transport budget and commercial decisions by the operators, Western Greyhound and First. Some decisions affected entire routes and others, the frequency of journeys.

Councillor Bert Biscoe, the portfolio holder for highways and transport, said he expected a further cut in government bus subsidy next year. "There is little doubt, that without sufficient funding, the face of rural bus services will change and, going forward, we cannot rule out the loss of services where passenger numbers are particularly low," he said.

The council said it had been working with the bus companies, sought advice from bus user groups and investigated other solutions, such as services run by community bus groups and voluntary organisations, to protect some services.

"The council's staff and bus operators have worked together to come up with a revised network which, while somewhat reduced, does ensure that those who need buses can get buses," Mr Biscoe said.

Gordon Edwards, from TravelWatch SouthWest, added: "Our local members have worked tirelessly... to minimise the impact of these changes on bus users and ensure that people can still access colleges and schools, places of work, hospitals, health and day centres and local shops. It is, however, recognised that a very small minority of existing bus users will unfortunately still suffer inconvenience from these service revisions."

The changes will come into effect from 3 November and details of timetable changes can be found at www.travelinesw.com.


Title: Re: Bus services in Cornwall - route and operator changes - First Bus, Plymouth Citybus, Western Greyhound
Post by: Sleepy on October 21, 2013, 12:14:27 pm
Nice to see new timetables have still not been published !!! If this was the railway it would cause uproar. Politicians wonder why Joe Public dislike using buses ?????


Title: Re: Bus services in Cornwall - route and operator changes - First Bus, Plymouth Citybus, Western Greyhound
Post by: Kernow Otter on October 21, 2013, 12:53:23 pm
The daft thing about this is that if Cornwall (or other) Councils were allowed to charge even ^ 1 for a return trip to the users of the free bus pass, then there would be significantly more funds available to further subsidise more routes.  It is Central Government that prevents this, and I suspect that any scheme like this would be vetoed for purely political reasons.



Title: Re: Bus services in Cornwall - route and operator changes - First Bus, Plymouth Citybus, Western Greyhound
Post by: LiskeardRich on October 21, 2013, 06:01:26 pm
The daft thing about this is that if Cornwall (or other) Councils were allowed to charge even ^ 1 for a return trip to the users of the free bus pass, then there would be significantly more funds available to further subsidise more routes.  It is Central Government that prevents this, and I suspect that any scheme like this would be vetoed for purely political reasons.



Currently the bus company gets 43p per journey by concessionary pass holders.


Title: Re: Bus services in Cornwall - route and operator changes - First Bus, Plymouth Citybus, Western Greyhound
Post by: grahame on October 21, 2013, 06:31:03 pm
Currently the bus company gets 43p per journey by concessionary pass holders.

I had heard that payments were 43p (44p in Wilts? Somewhere between the two?) in the pound, rather than per journey.  So on a single fare of 4 pounds, the bus operator would get 1.76 on my understanding, but only 43p on yours.  Huge difference - does it really differ in that way between counties, or has one of us been misinformed?


Title: Re: Bus services in Cornwall - route and operator changes - First Bus, Plymouth Citybus, Western Greyhound
Post by: Southern Stag on October 21, 2013, 06:53:39 pm
I think it can differ between counties.  AFAIK, the national government provides a base rate of reimbursement but the county council may top up the reimbursement themselves. Cornwall Council reduced the subsidy it paid a couple of years ago which lead to fears being raised by the bus companies that services would have to be cut.


Title: Re: Bus services in Cornwall - route and operator changes - First Bus, Plymouth Citybus, Western Greyhound
Post by: LiskeardRich on October 21, 2013, 07:13:10 pm
Currently the bus company gets 43p per journey by concessionary pass holders.

I had heard that payments were 43p (44p in Wilts? Somewhere between the two?) in the pound, rather than per journey.  So on a single fare of 4 pounds, the bus operator would get 1.76 on my understanding, but only 43p on yours.  Huge difference - does it really differ in that way between counties, or has one of us been misinformed?

I was basing on a comment by a local but large independent company's CEO comments in a local paper. I suspect it may have been edited as Cornwall Council's FAQ state the bus operator gets a percentage of the commercial fare.


Title: Re: Bus services in Cornwall - route and operator changes - First Bus, Plymouth Citybus, Western Greyhound
Post by: stuving on October 21, 2013, 07:18:37 pm
[I was basing on a comment by a local but large independent company's CEO comments in a local paper. I suspect it may have been edited as Cornwall Council's FAQ state the bus operator gets a percentage of the commercial fare.
DafT have guidance, written for TCAs (Travel Concession Authorities), at:
http://assets.dft.gov.uk/publications/guidance-for-travel-concession-authorities-on-the-england-national-concessionary-travel-scheme/travelconcession.pdf (http://assets.dft.gov.uk/publications/guidance-for-travel-concession-authorities-on-the-england-national-concessionary-travel-scheme/travelconcession.pdf)
It includes:
Quote
Reimbursement

1.59 TCAs are required by law to reimburse bus operators for carrying concessionary
passengers, on the principle that the operators are "no better off and no worse
off" by taking part in concessionary travel schemes. The aim is not to subsidise
bus operators, but to pay for any increased costs that they have incurred.

1.60 Reimbursement of bus operators is divided into two elements: revenue forgone
and net additional costs. Revenue forgone is the reimbursement of fares that
operators would have received from concessionary journeys that would have
been made in the absence of a scheme. The average fare forgone is generally
not the same as the quoted commercial cash fare but should be calculated as an average of all ticket types that would have been available to concessionaires in
the absence of the scheme.

1.61 The proportion of observed concessionary journeys that are made purely
because of the concession are referred to as ^generated journeys^. The only extra
funding requirement associated with generated journeys should be the net
additional costs that bus operators incur from these additional journeys. These
are namely wear and tear on buses and possible costs from changes in service
frequency or density. In very exceptional cases, net additional costs will include
the costs to operators of buying an extra vehicle to cater for generated journeys.

1.62 Calculating concessionary travel reimbursement is predicated on determining
what would have happened in the absence of the concessionary scheme and
requires TCAs to estimate the following components of reimbursement:
* The fares that operators would have offered and concessionary travellers
paid in the absence of the concession
* The proportion of total observed concessionary journeys that would have
been made in the absence of the concession
* Any net additional costs that operators have incurred as a result of the
concession.


Title: Re: Bus services in Cornwall - route and operator changes - First Bus, Plymouth Citybus, Western Greyhound
Post by: grahame on October 21, 2013, 07:42:00 pm
... a comment by a local but large independent company's CEO comments in a local paper. I suspect it may have been edited as Cornwall Council's FAQ state the bus operator gets a percentage of the commercial fare ...

Would this be a clue to the company?   

(http://www.wellho.net/pix/snowbilly.jpg)

Their MD, Mark Howarth, has helped provide a fascinating insight into bus operations and their trials, tribulations and finance at TravelWatch SouthWest (where he is greatly welcomed and respected) over the years, and indeed updated us at the start of this month.  It's "pence in the pound" rather than "pence";  I would suggest, as you say, the words "in the pound" were lost in editorial trimming of the article.


Title: Re: Bus services in Cornwall - route and operator changes - First Bus, Plymouth Citybus, Western Greyhound
Post by: Kernow Otter on October 21, 2013, 07:48:22 pm
Suppose I was coming at it a different way, ie charging the user a pound a trip, so free bus travel becomes subsidised bus travel, and on the basis of 43p a trip, a ^ 1 charge would cover the council's contribution to a return trip, allowing them to spend that money on other buses or one of the many other areas that local government has to spend money.


Title: Re: Bus services in Cornwall - route and operator changes - First Bus, Plymouth Citybus, Western Greyhound
Post by: LiskeardRich on October 21, 2013, 07:52:48 pm
Grahame that is a correct clue to the company. Reading other documentation I am now 99% certain the "in the pound" has been lost in editing.


Title: Re: Bus services in Cornwall - route and operator changes - First Bus, Plymouth Citybus, Western Greyhound
Post by: stuving on October 21, 2013, 10:25:18 pm
It's not hard to find some figures from the DfT site.
Latest figures (mostly 2011-2012) for non-metropolitatian counties:

  • average reimbursement per ENTCS journey:  100p
  • average annual journeys per ENTCS pass:  70
  • total operating revenue per bus journey:  165p
  • total net government support per bus journey (all journeys):  70p

London shows much more usage and lower payment per journey, with metropolitan counties in between.

Each TCA is required to pick its own formula for reimbursements, either using one of the DfT's suggestions or inventing their own. That may explain why I can't find any data for individual TCAs.

The data are actually on www.gov.uk, at: https://www.gov.uk/government/collections/bus-statistics (https://www.gov.uk/government/collections/bus-statistics)


Title: Re: Bus services in Cornwall - route and operator changes - First Bus, Plymouth Citybus, Western Greyhound
Post by: Sleepy on October 24, 2013, 08:02:06 pm
Some of the new timetables have now appeared on the First website.


Title: Re: Bus services in Cornwall - route and operator changes - First Bus, Plymouth Citybus, Western Greyhound
Post by: GBM on October 25, 2013, 01:14:25 pm
Some of the new timetables have now appeared on the First website.

Unfortunately, some of those published are incorrect & will be changed - slightly!
The centralised planning service in Plymouth are spending a lot of time talking to local depots. This harks back to my comment many months ago on the forum (to Scott) about schedulers being remote and having little or no working knowledge of the area they're forecasting for.
At this late stage of the game, only major problems are being ironed out & the 'smaller' ones ignored - i.e. a trip from A to B takes 5 minutes, but only 3 minutes allowed from B to A, etc.
Drivers are naturally being asked about what's happening to service x,y,z.  In all honesty, they/we don't know.  Many rumours, no facts.
Drivers won't know until they sign on that morning & look at their board as to where & when they're going (or look online & guess).
 :( :-[


Title: Re: Bus services in Cornwall - route and operator changes - First Bus, Plymouth Citybus, Western Greyhound
Post by: FarWestJohn on October 25, 2013, 07:42:14 pm
The cuts should be good for the Falmouth branch as all Sunday evening buses between Truro and Falmouth have been chopped.


Title: Re: Bus services in Cornwall - route and operator changes - First Bus, Plymouth Citybus, Western Greyhound
Post by: Kernow Otter on October 26, 2013, 12:33:52 am
It is this duplication that has to be identified and weeded out. 

There are significant numbers of people in receipt of the free bus pass, doubtless throughout the land, who want a bus to take them from point 'A' to 'B' - return - by bus, despite the fact that there is a more frequent train service between the same places, purely because it is free.

No problem with people wanting to save money, but would the solution be for the bus pass to allow for LOCAL train travel as well ?


Title: Re: Bus services in Cornwall - route and operator changes - First Bus, Plymouth Citybus, Western Greyhound
Post by: Rhydgaled on October 26, 2013, 01:01:05 am
Do the trains serve all the same intermediate points as the buses? If they do, and run at a decent frequency, then public transport would still being provided to everyone if the buses didn't run. Allowing bus passes to be used on trains might be useful, but I think the pilot schemes allowing them on trains in Wales had to be confined to winter only because the loadings got too high in summer.


Title: Re: Bus services in Cornwall - route and operator changes - First Bus, Plymouth Citybus, Western Greyhound
Post by: Kernow Otter on October 26, 2013, 01:23:07 am
As it stands, FGW Devon and Cornwall couldn't cope the extra passengers a 'Free Pensioner' pass would generate.  Shame really. 

Maybe when we get the Adelante's for  hourly PNZ - EXD stopping services.... ;)


Title: Re: Bus services in Cornwall - route and operator changes - First Bus, Plymouth Citybus, Western Greyhound
Post by: old original on October 28, 2014, 07:26:59 pm
First Kernow have announced that they are (re-)introducing their hourly Newquay - St Austell No 21, doubling up on the Truro - Newquay route (90,91,92) including via Perranporth (87) all starting on the 3rd November

Also in January next year planning to extend the Truro - St Austell (27) onto Bodmin plus going back into Fowey & Mevagissey

http://www.firstgroup.com/ukbus/devon_cornwall/travel_news/news_initiatives/?item=22341&conf=0

http://www.firstgroup.com/ukbus/devon_cornwall/travel_news/news_initiatives/?item=22681&conf=0



Title: Re: Bus services in Cornwall - route and operator changes - First Bus, Plymouth Citybus, Western Greyhound
Post by: bignosemac on October 28, 2014, 07:40:03 pm
Rumours abound that Western Greyhound are really struggling. They've had to reduce some services due to driver shortages after more than a few were poached by First. Competing services won't help ease their woes.

From Western Greyhound:
Quote
17/10/2014 - Some journeys temporarily suspended from Mon 20th Oct 2014

It is with considerable reluctance, as a result of an unprecedented driver shortage that we are forced to suspend some rarely, or lightly used late afternoon or evening journeys on Mondays to Saturdays for a period of time as we seek to recruit new drivers. We have carefully selected the journeys to cause the minimum of disruption to our passengers. If these changes cause you any massive problems please contact us and we will see if any adjustments can be made.

The services affected are the 521, 529, 555, 556, 587 and 597. In many cases it is only 1 or 2 journeys on each service that will be affected. Full details of the journeys suspended can be found on the individual timetable page on the website of the services listed above.

We have discussed the suspensions with our stakeholders and it was felt it best to identify specific lightly used journeys rather than have random cuts each day to different services. As a result we have maintained the daytime journeys without cuts.

We apologise for any inconvenience this may cause but we are actively recruiting additional drivers.

First seem to have gone very aggressive in the west recently. A similar poaching of drivers and new direct competition services in the 'Buses of Somerset' area has affected WebberBus.


Title: Re: Bus services in Cornwall - route and operator changes - First Bus, Plymouth Citybus, Western Greyhound
Post by: GBM on November 13, 2014, 02:10:07 pm
Radio Cornwall saying that Western Greyhound is up for sale and meeting with staff midday today.
Nothing on the BBC website as yet and nothing on Western Greyhound official site.
Seems that Mark H will speak to Radio Cornwall on Monday.
Sad news for staff, especially just before Christmas.
Let's hope a buyer can be found


Title: Re: Bus services in Cornwall - route and operator changes - First Bus, Plymouth Citybus, Western Greyhound
Post by: bignosemac on November 13, 2014, 02:33:33 pm
From the Cornish Guardian (http://www.cornishguardian.co.uk/Job-loss-fears-Western-Greyhound-sale/story-24527804-detail/story.html):

Quote
Job loss fears as Western Greyhound put up for sale

A much-criticised Cornish bus operator has been put up for sale in a move which may have major implications for bus users across the county.

Western Greyhound Ltd, which is headquartered in Summercourt, has been put on the market for an undisclosed sum through London-based property consultants ES Group, and a new buyer is now being sought to safeguard the futures of the firm^s employees.

The listing on ES Group^s website states that potential buyers must register an expression of interest for the business and assets before 5pm tomorrow.

A meeting is being held in Summercourt at 1pm today, where staff are expected to hear more about the situation from the company^s managing director, Mark Howarth.

One driver, who did not wish to be named, told the Cornish Guardian: ^We^ve been told not to tell anyone, but the deadline for buyers to come forward is tomorrow.

^There are lots of rumours that somebody else might be stepping in tomorrow, but nothing^s been confirmed. We don^t a clue if we^re going to have a job on Saturday morning.^

Western Greyhound has been criticised following chaotic services which in recent weeks have frequently seen buses fail to turn up, or entire services being suspended.

The company^s website states that journeys were temporarily suspended due, in part, to a shortage of staff.

An update posted on the site said: ^We apologise for any convenience this may cause but we are working hard to recruit drivers as soon as we possibly can.^

The driver said: ^A lot of drivers have been walking out for the past three weeks, hence, the reason why services have been missing.

^The passengers don^t blame us, we try our best in the circumstances and if we can turn up we do turn up.^

Western Greyhound operates throughout Cornwall and into Devon, serving Plymouth, and recorded a turnover of almost ^8m last year. It is reported to have a fleet of 77 buses plus six heritage buses.

In May last year, the company lost 35 buses in an arson attack at its Summercourt depot. In January of this year, a further three buses were lost in a second arson attack near Liskeard.

Mark Howarth did not respond to the Cornish Guardian^s requests for a comment.


Title: Re: Bus services in Cornwall - route and operator changes - First Bus, Plymouth Citybus, Western Greyhound
Post by: LiskeardRich on November 13, 2014, 09:26:18 pm
A driver friend has said unless a buyer is on table the company will cease operating on Friday night.

This seems to be backed up by the anonymous driver in the above article saying

Quote
There are lots of rumours that somebody else might be stepping in tomorrow, but nothing^s been confirmed. We don^t a clue if we^re going to have a job on Saturday morning

The receivers were in last week and are the organisation advertising the company.

Rumour*** It is believed there is a buyer lined up, but is being openly advertised (by a receiver) for sale to ensure they show the creditors they achieved best price***.

The most recent accounts make interesting reading including ^2m due to NatWest bank- The receiver company show on their website NatWest as a client, so putting 2 and 2 together may suggest NatWest have called in the debt. I may be getting 5 though, but my theory seems likely.


Title: Re: Bus services in Cornwall - route and operator changes - First Bus, Plymouth Citybus, Western Greyhound
Post by: LiskeardRich on November 13, 2014, 09:32:10 pm
It is possible First have expanded into Western Greyhound territory to ward off a major competitor coming in and buying Western Greyhound.
First certainly didn't need to do much to poach Western Greyhound drivers though.
First advertised they needed a large number of qualified drivers, and it wouldn't take much to jump from WG to First. First pay almost 15% better, plus substantial benefits- including heavily discounted rail travel and free bus travel with First anywhere in the country, as well as more job security. A friend has made such a switch and he is speaking how wonderful and great First are as employers compared to WG.

Alex Carter has worked wonders with First in Cornwall and deserves all the credit going for him.


Title: Re: Bus services in Cornwall - route and operator changes - First Bus, Plymouth Citybus, Western Greyhound
Post by: 6 OF 2 redundant adjunct of unimatrix 01 on November 15, 2014, 08:24:58 am
I did notice that stagecoach south west have applied to run an x10 and amended x9 service... ok the x10 is only one trip eachway okehampton to launc but possibly setting the framework for something more?


Title: Re: Bus services in Cornwall - route and operator changes - First Bus, Plymouth Citybus, Western Greyhound
Post by: Pb_devon on December 08, 2014, 05:20:49 pm
Plymouth Citybus buys Western Greyhound in south east Cornwall
By Plymouth Herald  |  Posted: December 08, 2014

Plymouth Citybus buys Western Greyhound in south east Cornwall

Plymouth Citybus has acquired vital Western Greyhound bus services in the Liskeard area.

It will take over today, Monday, in South East Cornwall, safeguarding 31 bus driving jobs in the area, and continuing to run the Western Greyhound timetables that are currently in place.


Plymouth Citybus, part of the national transport group Go-Ahead, will take on services previously run by Western Greyhound in and around the Liskeard area.

That includes the 572 between Looe and Plymouth, the 573 between Looe and Liskeard, the 574 between Liskeard and Callington and the 576 between Plymouth and Bude, via Callington and Launceston.

It will also run the section of service 593 between Plymouth and Liskeard.

Western Greyhound will continue to run the 593 between Newquay and Liskeard and through tickets will continue to be available.

Plymouth Citybus intends to take over the lease of the depot off Culverwood Road in Liskeard, along with acquiring nine low-floor buses which will be branded under the new name of ^Go Cornwall Bus^.

Plymouth Citybus currently run a fleet of 180 buses in Plymouth and its travel to work area, carrying in excess of 16.3 million passengers a year.

Richard Stevens Managing Director at Plymouth Citybus said "We are really delighted to be able to come to an agreement with Western Greyhound to take over these routes and safeguard not only 31 local jobs, but securing vital bus services in South East Cornwall. We have a wealth of experience of running buses in the area and have this year started providing services to The Rame peninsular and into Liskeard, complementing our service between Callington and Tavistock. I would like to personally welcome the staff into the Citybus family and assure them that they are in good hands."

Mark Howarth Director at Western Greyhound said "We recently put Western Greyhound up for sale and we believe that the deal with Plymouth CityBus for the Liskeard area represents good value for both our employees and for bus users.

"We started our first operations in south east Cornwall in August 2004, stepping in when DAC closed down their operations there, and stepped in again when local bus operator Phil Hambley of Pelynt retired.

"Frequencies have been steadily increased with through services introduced between the Cornish resort of Newquay and Plymouth, and more recently increasing the peak-hour frequency between Liskeard and Plymouth to half-hourly.

"A network based on connections at Liskeard was developed together with integrated ticketing with First Great Western trains on the Looe Valley corridor. I am delighted that Plymouth CityBus will be able to take this network to the next phase of its development.

"I would like to publicly thank all our staff who have worked so hard under often extremely difficult circumstances, and I would like to thank the public for their loyal support over the past 10 years.^

Although Western Greyhound has had a number of difficulties in recent months, mainly as a result of two arson attacks, it was for many years an award winning company winning national awards for high quality year after year.

Mark Howarth added, ^The Company still continues in discussions with interested parties for the rest of the business and an announcement will be made in due course.^

The current services will remain and fares and times will continue unchanged from Monday. Plymouth CityBus will continue to honour all Western Greyhound weekly and season tickets until their expiry and both CityBus and Greyhound wish to make this change as easy and seamless as possible.



Read more: http://www.plymouthherald.co.uk/Plymouth-Citybus-buys-Western-Greyhound-south/story-25405443-detail/story.html#ixzz3LKO4Yluw


Title: Re: Bus services in Cornwall - route and operator changes - First Bus, Plymouth Citybus, Western Greyhound
Post by: LiskeardRich on December 08, 2014, 05:54:46 pm
Although announced today, a PCB bus was operating the 593 yesterday.
The 9 buses part of the acquisition are 4 slim Solos and 5 bigger Solos
WK58 EAE
WK58 EAF
WK58 EAG
WK58 EAJ
WK59 CWU
WK59 CWW
WK59 CWX
WK59 CWY
WK59 CWZ


Title: Re: Bus services in Cornwall - route and operator changes - First Bus, Plymouth Citybus, Western Greyhound
Post by: Chris from Nailsea on December 08, 2014, 07:15:26 pm
In response to a helpful suggestion from Pb_devon, I've now split off a few previous related posts from the depot fires topic (http://www.firstgreatwestern.info/coffeeshop/index.php?topic=12415.0) and merged them here, in the interests of clarity and continuity.

Hope this helps. CfN.  :)


Title: Re: Bus services in Cornwall - route and operator changes - First Bus, Plymouth Citybus, Western Greyhound
Post by: old original on December 08, 2014, 08:11:45 pm
..and now going further on down to St Agnes and up to Wadebridge. Certainly looks like most of Western Greyhound's routes are going to be covered before long

http://firstgroup.com/ukbus/devon_cornwall/travel_news/news_initiatives/?item=23621&conf=0


Title: Re: Bus services in Cornwall - route and operator changes - First Bus, Plymouth Citybus, Western Greyhound
Post by: The Tall Controller on December 08, 2014, 09:39:10 pm
Hopefully they'll take back the 555 (Bodmin Parkway to Padstow) route soon. It has slowly and quietly deteriorated over the past month or so with 4 departures being axed (at 0930, 1430, 1930 and 2210) and a very unreliable service. Its a wonder how they still have customers.


Title: Re: Bus services in Cornwall - route and operator changes - First Bus, Plymouth Citybus, Western Greyhound
Post by: LiskeardRich on December 08, 2014, 09:41:12 pm
Hopefully they'll take back the 555 (Bodmin Parkway to Padstow) route soon. It has slowly and quietly deteriorated over the past month or so with 4 departures being axed (at 0930, 1430, 1930 and 2210) and a very unreliable service. Its a wonder how they still have customers.

I took the 1030 on 28/11/14 and from Bodmin town to trelawney garden centre it was full. The rest of the journey I had it to myself.


Title: Re: Bus services in Cornwall - route and operator changes - First Bus, Plymouth Citybus, Western Greyhound
Post by: Chris from Nailsea on December 08, 2014, 09:54:53 pm
Having reviewed a couple of related topics covering First Bus services in Cornwall, and the struggles of Western Greyhound, I've now merged both of those topics here.

Apologies if the overlap appears slightly clunky in a few of the previous posts, but hopefully it will avoid duplication in future posts.

CfN.  :)


Title: Re: Bus services in Cornwall - route and operator changes - First Bus, Plymouth Citybus, Western Greyhound
Post by: LiskeardRich on December 10, 2014, 11:24:24 pm
The owner of Velvet buses (Southampton) has confirmed he has purchased the remainder of the Western Greyhound business.


Title: Re: Bus services in Cornwall - route and operator changes - First Bus, Plymouth Citybus, Western Greyhound
Post by: old original on December 30, 2014, 10:33:13 pm
Nothing has been heard of from the the new owner yet and the service is getting worse. After a day out walking I waited in Truro for the 17.55, 522 service to St. Austell, no show.  Caught the 19.55 train to St. Austell hoping to catch the 20.25, 521 service from there to home, again no show. Railway staff at St.Austell said that it was that same the day before & people clubbed together for a taxi. Today I was on my lonesome so paid ^15 for a taxi home - arriving 2 hours later than I should have done.

Letter to WG & Cornwall Council tomorrow, I think.


Title: Re: Bus services in Cornwall - route and operator changes - First Bus, Plymouth Citybus, Western Greyhound
Post by: 6 OF 2 redundant adjunct of unimatrix 01 on January 01, 2015, 09:13:29 pm
I wouldn't expect improvements to be honest

http://m.thenorthernecho.co.uk/news/11450476.New_owner_of_bus_firm_avoids_jail_over_fake_cash/


Title: Re: Bus services in Cornwall - route and operator changes - First Bus, Plymouth Citybus, Western Greyhound
Post by: LiskeardRich on January 01, 2015, 10:36:37 pm
The new owner has already sent 4-5 buses from velvet and a few from ensign.

Another interesting development in Southampton, is black velvet have cancelled all their registrations with the commissioner and the routes have been registered by WG.

I suspect all assets will be transferred to WG and WG debt transferred to black velvet, with the latter company put into liquidation, and suddenly both operations are debt free. This loophole to get rid of debt is perfectly legal somehow!


Title: Re: Bus services in Cornwall - route and operator changes - First Bus, Plymouth Citybus, Western Greyhound
Post by: old original on January 14, 2015, 08:40:37 pm
Velvet has now ceased trading as of 10th Jan. with it's last few routes being taken over by Xelabus


Title: Re: Bus services in Cornwall - route and operator changes - First Bus, Plymouth Citybus, Western Greyhound
Post by: LiskeardRich on January 14, 2015, 08:48:14 pm
Velvet has now ceased trading as of 10th Jan. with it's last few routes being taken over by Xelabus

Cornwall is now very colourful, Majority of Velvet's fleet has moved to Western Greyhound.
We have First's mix and match liveries. First have at least 14 different liveries in Cornwall at present!
Western Greyhound Green and Western Greyhound pink.


Title: Re: Bus services in Cornwall - route and operator changes - First Bus, Plymouth Citybus, Western Greyhound
Post by: Palfers on February 23, 2015, 07:58:35 pm
I see western greyhound have got a new website only trouble is I can't access it on my mobile is anyone else having trouble accessing it?


Title: Re: Bus services in Cornwall - route and operator changes - First Bus, Plymouth Citybus, Western Greyhound
Post by: tomL on February 23, 2015, 08:13:37 pm
If you mean the "Under Construction...(snip)" then yes it looks like it is currently (b)locked....Sort of.

https://docs.google.com/file/d/0B8yOiFw1L9kJOVMzbGVqcGd3eWM/ (Posted on docs because of attachment size).


Title: Re: Bus services in Cornwall - route and operator changes - First Bus, Plymouth Citybus, Western Greyhound
Post by: LiskeardRich on February 23, 2015, 08:38:19 pm
They posted on facebook yesterday it should be launched next week. The existing website was considerably outdated


Title: Re: Bus services in Cornwall - route and operator changes - First Bus, Plymouth Citybus, Western Greyhound
Post by: Palfers on February 23, 2015, 08:46:59 pm
They posted on facebook yesterday it should be launched next week. The existing website was considerably outdated


Oh ok I wonderd why it was freezing when it was loading all I could get was a photo of an optare solo at Newquay bus station. I agree the old website was out dated but was simple to navigate


Title: Re: Bus services in Cornwall - route and operator changes - First Bus, Plymouth Citybus, Western Greyhound
Post by: old original on March 13, 2015, 07:11:56 am
From Radio Cornwall....

No Buses running as of this morning, drivers turned up, handed redundancy notices & told to wait until 07.00 for a First Recruitment team to turn up.


Title: Re: Bus services in Cornwall - route and operator changes - First Bus, Plymouth Citybus, Western Greyhound
Post by: Palfers on March 13, 2015, 07:13:48 am
I've been listening to bbc radio cornwall this morning and they were reporting that western greyhound has ceased trading!

Will have to wait for further news and info from the company


Title: Re: Bus services in Cornwall - route and operator changes - First Bus, Plymouth Citybus, Western Greyhound
Post by: Palfers on March 13, 2015, 07:14:36 am
Damn it someone beat me to it!!


Title: Re: Bus services in Cornwall - route and operator changes - First Bus, Plymouth Citybus, Western Greyhound
Post by: old original on March 13, 2015, 07:24:33 am
..by someone freezing his wosits off, being stood at a bus stop since 06.30!!!


Title: Re: Bus services in Cornwall - route and operator changes - First Bus, Plymouth Citybus, Western Greyhound
Post by: grahame on March 13, 2015, 08:48:46 am
Damn it someone beat me to it!!

These things happen ... I have merged the two topics for ease of discussion ... and thank you BOTH for starting the thread.

Sympathy to the drivers if it's as reported - never a nice thing (I have been made redundant twice in my career - never nice, but it can turn out to be a cloud with a silver lining - hopefully so in this case)

And - thinking of the passengers - surely there has to be a better way of things happening than leaving customers stranded at the roadside!


Title: Re: Bus services in Cornwall - route and operator changes - First Bus, Plymouth Citybus, Western Greyhound
Post by: Chris from Nailsea on March 13, 2015, 11:12:13 am
From the BBC (http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/uk-england-cornwall-31866340):

Quote
Western Greyhound bus firm ceases trading, employees say

(http://news.bbcimg.co.uk/media/images/81615000/jpg/_81615973_81615971.jpg)
About 40 employees arrived at Western Greyhound's Summercourt depot to be told the news

One of the main bus service providers in Cornwall is believed to have ceased trading, employees have told BBC News.

About 40 Western Greyhound employees arrived at its Summercourt depot on Friday morning to be told the news, said driver Paul Wills.

Western Greyhound has been operating buses in Cornwall since 1998.

Rival operator First Kernow told BBC Radio Cornwall it would accept all Western Greyhound tickets on its bus services over the next few weeks.

Employee Mr Wills, who received a letter from Western Greyhound, said: "The letter says there is a shortfall of cash to pay for the insurance of the vehicles and we cannot continue to trade. We're all being made redundant.

"I was speaking to the manager earlier and he is naturally very upset. It's the end of the road for Western Greyhound.

"The pay has not gone into the bank today but we've been assured it will. There will now be up to 100 people looking for work."

Many people took to social media to vent their anger at not being able to get to work or college.

BBC Radio Cornwall's Michael Clarke, who is at the depot, said: "There have been hugs and goodbyes by employees and they've been told to go home. Some people are angry and others are in shock."

Stephen Gilbert, Liberal Democrat MP for St Austell and Newquay, tweeted: "Western Greyhound ceasing trading is a blow to staff and to the thousands who depend on local bus routes. Urgent need to restore services."

In a statement, First Kernow said: "Following the cessation of Western Greyhound services, First Kernow this morning confirmed that it will accept all Western Greyhound tickets and passes on all its services."

Alex Carter, managing director, said: "We are working with our Cornwall Council partners to provide replacement services as soon as possible."

Western Greyhound, which was taken over in December by new management, is yet to comment.

(http://news.bbcimg.co.uk/media/images/76997000/jpg/_76997464_76996082.jpg)
Western Greyhound has been operating buses in Cornwall since 1998



Title: Re: Bus services in Cornwall - route and operator changes - First Bus, Plymouth Citybus, Western Greyhound
Post by: GBM on March 13, 2015, 02:46:03 pm
From listening to Radio Cornwall, Cornwall Council were informed this was on the cards 24 hours before the public non-announcement, but they couldn't say anything as it was only a possibility!
The RMT saying they met with Western Greyhound 24 hours ago, and were told nothing.


Title: Re: Bus services in Cornwall - route and operator changes - First Bus, Plymouth Citybus, Western Greyhound
Post by: chrisr_75 on March 13, 2015, 04:05:04 pm
Probably commercial reasons for withholding the information - I would assume they were probably in negotiations with their existing insurer (according to the quote on BBC article), or an alternative provider, in a last ditch attempt to secure credit, which it appears was unsuccessful.

Either way, not very helpful for those poor sods waiting at bus stops or those arriving for a days work, but I can understand the the logic behind not wanting to worry its other creditors without good reason.


Title: Re: Bus services in Cornwall - route and operator changes - First Bus, Plymouth Citybus, Western Greyhound
Post by: Tim on March 13, 2015, 05:13:40 pm
This is a real shame.  I was impressed with Western Greyhound on the occasions I used them.  I found them cheaper and more reliable than First and coming from Bath I have to say it was nice to travel on a Bus that wasn't painted white, pink and purple.

100 Jobs is quite a lot for Cornwall.  I hope many of the drives can continue to drive buses.


Title: Re: Bus services in Cornwall - route and operator changes - First Bus, Plymouth Citybus, Western Greyhound
Post by: Palfers on March 13, 2015, 06:07:43 pm
..by someone freezing his wosits off, being stood at a bus stop since 06.30!!!
oh sorry you think they would give notice!


Title: Re: Bus services in Cornwall - route and operator changes - First Bus, Plymouth Citybus, Western Greyhound
Post by: LiskeardRich on March 13, 2015, 06:28:27 pm
I only did a Ride Cornwall on Tuesday taking in a number of WG routes. I honestly thought a corner had turned as a large number of odd coloured buses have been repainted recently, with private registrations applied. Everything ran on time.
The only stand out was a lack of uniform for most of the drivers.

There were representatives of First at summercourt this morning, assisting with matters and available to speak with drivers.

Cornwall Council have published a statement that they have managed to secure alternative serviced with effect from Monday subject to traffic commissioner approval.

I assume the council mean First, as First have purchased 10 vehicles from Western Greyhound, and also are having a further 8 transferred in from other First operations around the country due to arrive at Camborne over the weekend.

3 WG Darts and 3 WG Solos were at Camborne depot this afternoon.



Title: Re: Bus services in Cornwall - route and operator changes - First Bus, Plymouth Citybus, Western Greyhound
Post by: LiskeardRich on March 13, 2015, 06:33:43 pm
Just seen on a generic Cornwall bus Facebook page

Quote
Services 584 and 595 based at Wadebridge will be operated from Monday 16 March 2015 by Stagecoach South West

Services 555 bodmin parkway to Padstow together with the 593 renumbered 75 between bodmin and liskeard will be operated by Plymouth citybus operation go Cornwall.


Most other routes will be run by first kernow


Title: Re: Bus services in Cornwall - route and operator changes - First Bus, Plymouth Citybus, Western Greyhound
Post by: LiskeardRich on March 13, 2015, 06:42:56 pm
Full list of replacement services

http://www.cornwall.gov.uk/transport-and-streets/public-transport/western-greyhound-buses/


Title: Re: Bus services in Cornwall - route and operator changes - First Bus, Plymouth Citybus, Western Greyhound
Post by: old original on March 13, 2015, 08:43:29 pm
..
Full list of replacement services

http://www.cornwall.gov.uk/transport-and-streets/public-transport/western-greyhound-buses/
I'd be grateful for anything that stops me having to get up at 04.15 on Monday morning and walk 6 miles to catch a train!!


Title: Re: Bus services in Cornwall - route and operator changes - First Bus, Plymouth Citybus, Western Greyhound
Post by: LiskeardRich on March 13, 2015, 08:48:54 pm
..
Full list of replacement services

http://www.cornwall.gov.uk/transport-and-streets/public-transport/western-greyhound-buses/
I'd be grateful for anything that stops me having to get up at 04.15 on Monday morning and walk 6 miles to catch a train!!

The council were trying for as close as possible to the existing timetable.
The only route that wont continue is Newquay to Bodmin.
Not knowing where you are I don't know what options you have as yet to walking other than a pushbike.


Title: Re: Bus services in Cornwall - route and operator changes - First Bus, Plymouth Citybus, Western Greyhound
Post by: TonyK on March 13, 2015, 10:54:56 pm
From listening to Radio Cornwall, Cornwall Council were informed this was on the cards 24 hours before the public non-announcement, but they couldn't say anything as it was only a possibility!
The RMT saying they met with Western Greyhound 24 hours ago, and were told nothing.

A phone call from the bank can be the difference between life and death for a small company. Possibility can become reality in a heartbeat. This could have gone the other way, which would be why the RMT were told nothing, but it didn't.

It does sound as though a new provision has been worked up very quickly, and that there will be jobs with First for many of the staff, which could be the silver lining grahame alluded to.

(This is not to belittle the real impact of unwanted redundancy on real peoples' lives - at the start of the now fading recession, I was detailed to give talks on law and benefits to groups of soon-to-be-redundant workers, and saw their reaction at first hand. Mrs FT,N!, however, has been made repugnant twice. She had to beg for the second. Both events were undisguised blessings, as being made redundant just before you were about to hand in your notice will always be.)


Title: Re: Bus services in Cornwall - route and operator changes - First Bus, Plymouth Citybus, Western Gre
Post by: Chris from Nailsea on March 13, 2015, 11:34:33 pm
Very sad news about Western Greyhound.  :o

Purely in the interests of gathering the full story together, and for ease of future reference, I've now merged a couple more topics into this one.

My best wishes to all Western Greyhound staff.  :-X


Title: Re: Bus services in Cornwall - route and operator changes - First Bus, Plymouth Citybus, Western Gre
Post by: LiskeardRich on March 13, 2015, 11:41:54 pm
From listening to Radio Cornwall, Cornwall Council were informed this was on the cards 24 hours before the public non-announcement, but they couldn't say anything as it was only a possibility!
The RMT saying they met with Western Greyhound 24 hours ago, and were told nothing.

A phone call from the bank can be the difference between life and death for a small company. Possibility can become reality in a heartbeat. This could have gone the other way, which would be why the RMT were told nothing, but it didn't.

It does sound as though a new provision has been worked up very quickly, and that there will be jobs with First for many of the staff, which could be the silver lining grahame alluded to.

(This is not to belittle the real impact of unwanted redundancy on real peoples' lives - at the start of the now fading recession, I was detailed to give talks on law and benefits to groups of soon-to-be-redundant workers, and saw their reaction at first hand. Mrs FT,N!, however, has been made repugnant twice. She had to beg for the second. Both events were undisguised blessings, as being made redunndant just before you were about to hand in your notice will always be.)


The quick provision by the council was a case of putting an existing plan into place. This eventuality was planned for at the council with other operators some time last year when WG were under the previous owner, so the council had a fairly robust back up plan already drawn up after the previous owner went public in his sale or close in November.
The directors had reportedly warned the council earlier this week of the potential situation so wasn't a big shock to the council by any means.
Several drivers interviews for the media said it wasn't a surprise, suggesting things weren't all good on the inside.


Title: Re: Bus services in Cornwall - route and operator changes - First Bus, Plymouth Citybus, Western Gre
Post by: Pb_devon on March 14, 2015, 07:53:46 am
Full list of replacement services

http://www.cornwall.gov.uk/transport-and-streets/public-transport/western-greyhound-buses/

Seems to me that Cornwall Council have done a commendable job in swiftly sorting replacement operators, plus those operators stepping in. I do appreciate there is a commercial angle here, but hey, that's what competition is supposed to be all about!


Title: Re: Bus services in Cornwall - route and operator changes - First Bus, Plymouth Citybus, Western Gre
Post by: TonyK on March 14, 2015, 11:06:57 am
It would not surprise me to find that First and the other companies had worked out staffing levels and timetables in anticipation of this event. As most of the services are going to continue, it is to be hoped that most of the staff will be hired to run them.

The impact on the travelling public will hopefully be minimal. In rural Cornwall, the situation is greatly different to that in urban Bristol. Were ABus, for example, to cease running the 349 Keynsham to Bristol service, the result would be minor inconvenience. Stopping the only service between a distant village and a centre of employment is a potential calamity.


Title: Re: Bus services in Cornwall - route and operator changes - First Bus, Plymouth Citybus, Western Gre
Post by: LiskeardRich on March 14, 2015, 04:38:40 pm
It would not surprise me to find that First and the other companies had worked out staffing levels and timetables in anticipation of this event. As most of the services are going to continue, it is to be hoped that most of the staff will be hired to run them.

The impact on the travelling public will hopefully be minimal. In rural Cornwall, the situation is greatly different to that in urban Bristol. Were ABus, for example, to cease running the 349 Keynsham to Bristol service, the result would be minor inconvenience. Stopping the only service between a distant village and a centre of employment is a potential calamity.


On several routes Truro-Newquay, St Austell to Newquay, St Austell to Bodmin, Truro to St Austell, and Mevagissey to Fowey via St Austell the two operators were competing so will not be a full need for the same level of vehicles or drivers.

First Kernow have obtained 18 new buses over this weekend, 10 from WG via Ensign - Ensign purchased from WG, and have leased them immediately to First Kernow. There are also a number of buses due in from Somerset/Avon and other operations around the country.
The 10 WG buses have now got First branding, some are at Camborne the rest Penzance.
WG and First have been cooperating with each other to ensure a smooth start for First.


Title: Re: Bus services in Cornwall - route and operator changes - First Bus, Plymouth Citybus, Western Gre
Post by: bignosemac on March 18, 2015, 07:38:51 pm
Bus spotting isn't really my bag, but here's a pic of a hastily re-badged former WG Optare Solo in Newquay this afternoon.


Title: Re: Bus services in Cornwall - route and operator changes - First Bus, Plymouth Citybus, Western Gre
Post by: LiskeardRich on March 18, 2015, 07:56:11 pm
Bus spotting isn't really my bag, but here's a pic of a hastily re-badged former WG Optare Solo in Newquay this afternoon.

For someone who does like bus spotting, Wadebridge seems the place to go, First, GoAhead and Stagecoach. And to think 6 months ago First was the only national operator in Cornwall


Title: Re: Bus services in Cornwall - route and operator changes - First Bus, Plymouth Citybus, Western Gre
Post by: LiskeardRich on March 22, 2015, 11:09:38 am
WG reportedly sold a number of buses to Ensign a week before they ceased, and then hired them back. First have now taken 10 of those on hire - 5 Darts and 5 Solos.

First have also drafted in buses from all over the UK to ensure they can cover all their routes, although there was a couple of cancelations one day this week due to First not having enough vehicles to cover.
At least one of those buses that First took from WG reportedly turned up at Camborne with no MOT or Tax despite having been in operation with WG until the end, also a number of WG drivers have commented elsewhere on the internet that they didn't get back to the depot until 1am, despite the owners saying the insurance ran out at midnight.
Bishop and Smith should be familiar with public enquiries after this week.
Buses Etc had a public enquiry last week for which the blame was put on them for undermining tactics whilst they were at buses Etc.
This week WG and Velvet are both up for a public enquiry.
A director check shows of 7 bus companies that Bishop has been a director for, Buses Etc are the only one not to have gone bust.


Title: Re: Bus services in Cornwall - route and operator changes - First Bus, Plymouth Citybus, Western Gre
Post by: TaplowGreen on March 22, 2015, 04:34:36 pm
......are there really "Bus spotters"?  ???

Clearly I need to get out more!  ;D


Title: Re: Bus services in Cornwall - route and operator changes - First Bus, Plymouth Citybus, Western Gre
Post by: grahame on March 22, 2015, 04:44:35 pm
......are there really "Bus spotters"?  ???

Yes, there are ... but buses don't seem to generate the same spirit that trains do, so you'll find great support for community rail, but much harder to get support for community bus.  Sad, really - because there's real scope for people to take a loving interest in some of the harder-to-fill services.


Title: Re: Bus services in Cornwall - route and operator changes - First Bus, Plymouth Citybus, Western Gre
Post by: Andrew1939 from West Oxon on March 22, 2015, 06:54:05 pm
There must be many bus enthgeusiats around if not bus spotters because the Oxford Bus Museum seems to be getting ever bigger visitor numbers.
Should anyone reading this be interested it can be a fascination rail day out because the Oxford Bus Museum is located at Hanborough Rail Station yard, just a two minute walk from the platform Over 30 buses, mostly from Oxon operators but also the Morris Mottors Museum along side  More details at http://www.oxfordbusmuseum.org.uk/#


Title: Re: Bus services in Cornwall - route and operator changes - First Bus, Plymouth Citybus, Western Gre
Post by: LiskeardRich on March 22, 2015, 08:15:29 pm
......are there really "Bus spotters"?  ???

Clearly I need to get out more!  ;D

Flickr has a huge bus community.

Classic bus running days seem very popular events as well.


Title: Re: Bus services in Cornwall - route and operator changes - First Bus, Plymouth Citybus, Western Gre
Post by: grahame on March 22, 2015, 08:44:17 pm
Flickr has a huge bus community.

Yep ...

https://www.flickr.com/photos/chilebuss/8011005738/in/pool-1055511@N25/

Quote
Classic bus running days seem very popular events as well.

The Warminster one coincided with our passenger count last October ... never seen so many buses at Westbury Station, nor such busy buses!


Title: Re: Bus services in Cornwall - route and operator changes - First Bus, Plymouth Citybus, Western Gre
Post by: LiskeardRich on March 22, 2015, 10:00:01 pm
Flickr has a huge bus community.

Yep ...

https://www.flickr.com/photos/chilebuss/8011005738/in/pool-1055511@N25/

Quote
Classic bus running days seem very popular events as well.

The Warminster one coincided with our passenger count last October ... never seen so many buses at Westbury Station, nor such busy buses!

Penzance running day is always a good day. Free bus trips round to lands end, St Ives, mousehole amongst others. Very scenic and as all free makes for a great day out, sightseeing even if you don't like the buses.


Title: Re: Bus services in Cornwall - route and operator changes - First Bus, Plymouth Citybus, Western Gre
Post by: grahame on September 06, 2021, 08:07:32 am
From the BBC (http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/uk-england-cornwall-31866340):

Quote
Western Greyhound bus firm ceases trading, employees say

One of the main bus service providers in Cornwall is believed to have ceased trading, employees have told BBC News.

About 40 Western Greyhound employees arrived at its Summercourt depot on Friday morning to be told the news, said driver Paul Wills.

...

Employee Mr Wills, who received a letter from Western Greyhound, said: "The letter says there is a shortfall of cash to pay for the insurance of the vehicles and we cannot continue to trade. We're all being made redundant.

"I was speaking to the manager earlier and he is naturally very upset. It's the end of the road for Western Greyhound.

"The pay has not gone into the bank today but we've been assured it will. There will now be up to 100 people looking for work."

Many people took to social media to vent their anger at not being able to get to work or college.

BBC Radio Cornwall's Michael Clarke, who is at the depot, said: "There have been hugs and goodbyes by employees and they've been told to go home. Some people are angry and others are in shock."



From  Plymouth Live (https://www.plymouthherald.co.uk/news/plymouth-news/drivers-paid-six-years-after-5864469)

Quote
Drivers paid six years after Western Greyhound bus firm went bust

Drivers and other creditors owed cash when Cornish bus company Western Greyhound Ltd went bust have finally been paid - more than six years later.

The Newquay-based firm ceased trading and went into administration in early 2015, with liquidators appointed a year later.

But South Coast-based insolvency practice Portland Business Recovery found “unexpected issues” when it took over proceedings.

These included a wrangle with a secured creditor over how much it would be paid and claims by former employees, mostly drivers, owed cash.

Portland Business Recovery has therefore only just been able to conclude the liquidation of Western Greyhound Ltd.

The consultancy said that although the sale of Western Greyhound’s assets was relatively straightforward, sorting out the claims proved more problematic.

Lengthy negotiations took place with the secured creditor regarding the level of settlement to be paid from the sale of the freehold of the firm’s Summercourt depot.


Title: Re: Bus services in Cornwall - route and operator changes - First Bus, Plymouth Citybus, Western Gre
Post by: broadgage on September 06, 2021, 09:00:14 am
Shocking ! never trust an employer.

I have twice worked for employers that have gone bust, owing me money. In one case I got some of the money, several years later.
In the other case, they decided to pay up after threats were made. (it was a "new" company but with the same directors and and same offices. The "new" company denied any liability for wages owed by the "old" company. they had a change of policy after threats were made)



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