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Author Topic: Fires destroy buses at Western Greyhound fleet depots in Cornwall  (Read 17009 times)
bignosemac
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« on: May 13, 2013, 09:17:37 am »

From the BBC» (British Broadcasting Corporation - home page):

Quote
A fire at a bus depot in Cornwall has destroyed at least 37 buses - a third of bus firm Western Greyhound's fleet.

The fire in Summercourt, near Newquay, broke out at about 01:00 BST.

The blaze is expected to cause "significant disruption" to bus services in mid-Cornwall, including some school buses.

Its cause, which is not yet known, is being jointly investigated by Devon and Cornwall Police and Cornwall Fire and Rescue Service.

Police said the A3058 Newquay to St Austell Road would remain closed for most of the day.

Mark Howarth, Western Greyhound's managing director, told BBC Radio Cornwall: "A lot of hard work has gone into Western Greyhound and it's awful to see it going up in smoke.

"I could just see flames leaping in the air and when I arrived all the buses at the bottom of the yard were completely ablaze.

"The services will be significantly disrupted but we will run as much of them as we can."

Western Greyhound has been operating buses in Cornwall and Devon since 1998.

It describes itself as a "locally-based, family-run business."

Another news item from the West Briton including photos and videos:
http://www.thisiscornwall.co.uk/Massive-Western-Greyhound-depot-Summercourt-near/story-18970433-detail/story.html#axzz2T9tSs1al
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LiskeardRich
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« Reply #1 on: May 13, 2013, 09:24:11 am »

Sad to hear the devastation. Sadly nearly every other fire in such circumstances turn out to be Arson.

I think Western Greyhound were fairly lucky they store many of their buses out at outstations all round Cornwall which probably has saved them from losing more vehicles.
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Pb_devon
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« Reply #2 on: May 13, 2013, 12:16:20 pm »

what is slightly worrying, is that WG have a heritage fleet of 10, including 3 Routemasters.  I wonder if they have been lost?
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anthony215
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« Reply #3 on: May 13, 2013, 12:24:36 pm »

From what I have heard is that 4 out of 6 Mercedes-Benz Citaro's have been destroyed along with a number of double deckers.

Sadly there was one heritage vehicle on site which it seems could be one of the victims. Hopefully we will learn what caused this blaze and if it was arson the little buggers are caught and maybe their familys given a nice bill.

Anyway it could have been much worse as thank heavens Western Greyhound have other outstations so they havent lost their entire fleet of vehicles and credit where it is due other operators seem to have come to Western Greyhounds aid by loaning them vehicles and covering services
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LiskeardRich
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« Reply #4 on: May 13, 2013, 12:50:08 pm »

I've been into Truro today (by train, cheaper than parking). I observed WK04OKE, WK10AZU, WK11APY operating the Park and Ride into the City Centre, WK10AZU being the only P+R livering bus observed. WK04OKE is a Citaro, but not a P+R liveried model. WK11APY is an Optare Solo.
Also spotted 578PTA operating a 594 service,assuming this isnt a normal Mid/West Cornwall bus as it had a hand written destination in the windscreen with the blind displaying western greyhounds website.

2 hours ago WG posted the following on their facebook page.

Quote
The situation at present is that all routes are running fairly close to normal with the following exceptions: 524, 525 and 594 reduced service, and 522, 547, 550, 551, 556, 557, 558, 559, 585, 586, 596 nothing operating (although it is possible we may be able to get some journeys operating during the day). Many thanks to everyone for your messages of support and sympathy in this tragic loss.

Considering their loss I find it remarkable they have managed to get so many services running.
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LiskeardRich
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« Reply #5 on: May 13, 2013, 07:30:06 pm »

Looks like they're sending out their routemaster tomorrow in order to get a service on one route.

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Due to a major fire at our depot in Summercourt, there is currently major disruption across our network.

The following services ARE NOT RUNNING:
522, 547, 550, 551, 556, 557, 558, 559, 585, 586, 596

The following services are running with REDUCED SERVICE:
524, 525

Unless stated, all other services are running as normal.

It is hoped to run the same level of service on Tuesday 15th May 2013. We are pleased to say that we will be running a partial service on the 586 using our red London Routemaster. The reduced timetable for this service is available on the website now - please go to the 586 page

Looks like they will be full of enthusiasts enjoying that moment, and moaning commuters that they are getting an old bus!
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anthony215
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« Reply #6 on: May 13, 2013, 09:07:38 pm »

From one of the bus groups I am a member of, a provisional list of the vehicles destroyed in this fire sadly including one heritage vehicle although the rest are parked elsewhere:

1x Bristol VR (269, JWV 269W)
 5x Mercedes Citaro (4 of 6 Truro P&R (Park and Ride) + 207)
 2x ADL Enviro400 (401 & 402 from Service 510)
 4x Dennis Trident (440, 442, 444, 445)
 8x Volvo Olympian (450, 452, 453, 467, 473, 475, 498, 499)
 1x Dennis Javelin (trainer DSU107)

Seems like the heritage fleet a being pressed into service to provide some cover which is better than no service at all.

First Devon and cornwall have said they will be accepting some Western Greyhound tickets on parts of routes which are operated by services from both operators.

Other operators have offered buses to Western Greyhound if they require them.
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Pb_devon
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« Reply #7 on: May 13, 2013, 09:35:03 pm »

thanks anthony215........ could have been worse
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bignosemac
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« Reply #8 on: May 13, 2013, 11:50:05 pm »

Very nice to see that First D&C have offered to accept WG tickets on parallel routes.

Also nice to see that replacement buses from other operators have been offered.
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« Reply #9 on: May 14, 2013, 01:09:33 am »

When I lived in Cornwall up until 2006, I had the pleasure of using the Western Greyhound Services. So I am rather saddened to hear this.

Western Greyhound do seem to operate a lifeline for some villages which really are out in the sticks. I can certainly name a few Villages which have a regular bus service that would put Melksham' Rail service to shame! So for them to lose such a large amount of buses doesn't really need a comment on how it will affect a normally very well run service. Not to mention the hundreds of people who RELY on those services.

I remember my schooling days when I was one of them. I used the 593 (Newquay - Plymouth) Service quite a lot and for such a long distance by road and without the luxuries of the Goss Moor and Dobwalls Bypasses we have now, even in the holidays it remained a very punctual service. (Sometimes too punctual). I believe they changed the timetables after I left Cornwall and the service became very poor in terms of punctuality for a while in the Liskeard area. But has since improved gradually as they changed the routes around.

The real "luck" here (and I use that term very, very loosely) is that as they operate such a wide network stretching from Plymouth down towards Penzance. They have a number of satellite posts for their buses to sleep as others have mentioned.

When I used to get the last evening 593 Service from Dobwalls into Bodmin every Tuesday which normally ran empty if I wasn't on it. Depending on who was driving, the Bus would detour slightly through the trading estate and run via Bodmin General Station, so I could alight at Mount Folly (Bodmin Town Centre basically. The bus then used to drive onto Morrisons, without having to turn around in the Mount Folly Junction, where it would spend the evening in the Supermarket car park!

It was also a fairly frequent sight to see parked up Mercedes Varios in Morrisons Car Park in Liskeard also. So they do have places to sleep. A Driver said to me that they rotate the fleet around so each bus gets back to the main depot in order for it to be serviced and safety checked.

I also remember a conversation with a timetable planner after I rasied concerns that they might axe that last evening 593 to Bodmin. Being 15 - 16 at the time and one senior trout working  away all week, It was inconvenient enough to be collected from Bodmin by the remaining senior trout, but without that bus out there, the evening would have been a total none starter. My concerns were completely unfounded, as it was a busy service from Plymouth back into Liskeard which emptied out on the way, and the bus would have to be parked back in Bodmin anyway for service the following morning. So the company ran it as an advertised service even though they were never likely to receive any need for it... Apart from ^1.10 every Tuesday Wink Cheesy Smiley

So I hope they manage to get things sorted for them. Really cannot blame them for the problems under the circumstances. Good common sense to use a Heritage on some of the routes. If it works then why not? Although they may have created an inadvertent spotter club Grin

Also good to see other operators helping out in such cases... Maybe XC should consider taking a leaf out of the book! Tongue Wink Cheesy

If the cause turns out to be Arson, IMHO (in my humble opinion) it would make this matter so much worse Sad So I really am hoping it isn't! Undecided Lips sealed
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bignosemac
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« Reply #10 on: May 14, 2013, 11:08:11 am »

An update from the BBC» (British Broadcasting Corporation - home page):

Quote
Western Greyhound bus depot fire 'may have been arson'

A fire at a bus depot in Cornwall which destroyed 35 vehicles may have been started deliberately, police have said.

The blaze in Summercourt, near Newquay, broke out at about 01:00 BST on Monday.

A third of bus company Western Greyhound's fleet was burnt out causing widespread disruption to transport services in Cornwall.

Devon and Cornwall Police want anyone who may have seen "suspicious activity" in the area of the depot to contact them.

The burnt-out buses included two brand new vehicles which cost more than ^100,000 each, and four of Truro's six park-and-ride buses.

There was no damage to the depot's offices or workshops and there were no reports of any injuries.

Western Greyhound has been operating buses in Devon and Cornwall since 1998.

It describes itself as a "locally based, family-run business".
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« Reply #11 on: May 17, 2013, 01:22:00 am »

According to their facebook page Western Greyhound have received 2 buses from Stagecoach as well as 1 Mercedes-benz vario from Anglian Bus, Beccles and 3 Optare Solo's from Blackpool Transport.

Certainly it nice to see other operators from across the uk stepping up to help Western Greyhound
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bignosemac
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« Reply #12 on: May 17, 2013, 01:40:25 am »

Further news from the BBC» (British Broadcasting Corporation - home page):

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Western Greyhound bus services resume after depot fire



A bus firm which lost a third of its fleet in a fire has said most routes are now running "close to normal".

Western Greyhound lost 35 buses in the blaze at Summercourt, on Monday, which caused widespread disruption to public transport.

It said it had ordered replacement buses from across the country to return to a full service as soon as possible.

Arsonists are suspected of starting the fire at the depot which was tackled by more than 60 firefighters.

On the company's website it said "all routes are running fairly close to normal".

However, a number of exceptions have been listed.

It added it was using "every single bus available" to them and if there were problems there could be "short-term cancellations as no replacement buses are currently available as they usually are".

No-one was injured in the blaze and Devon and Cornwall Police wants anyone who may have seen "suspicious activity" in the area of the depot to contact them.
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LiskeardRich
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« Reply #13 on: May 22, 2013, 02:16:04 pm »

A full list of destroyed and hired vehicles
Quote
Mercedes/Plaxton Beavers; 564, 566, 572
 P&R (Park and Ride) Citaros: 201, 202, 204, 205
 Green Citaro: 207
 Solos: 816, 818, 819, 910, 912, 931, 951, 952, 958, 982, 988
 E400 d/decks: 401, 402
 Trident d/decks: 440, 442, 444, 445
 Olympian d/decks; 450, 452, 453, 467, 473, 475, 498, 499
 Heritage VR 259
 Driver training bus; DSU 107
 Solo 931 was badly burned and assessors are working on whether it is repairable.
 We currently have replacements in the form of:
 Merc/Plaxton Beavers; 500, 522, 552 back on the road
 2 x Merc/Plaxon Beavers from Carmel, Northlew
 3 Anglian Merc/Plaxton Beavers
 1 x Stagecaoch Dart, 1 x Stagecoach Solo
 3 x Blackpool Transport Solos
 3 Norfolk Green Solos
 1 Optare Solo SR(resolve) demonstrator

Their Facebook states they are currently working to get several of their older withdrawn Beavers back on the road.
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Chris from Nailsea
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« Reply #14 on: July 23, 2013, 10:02:59 pm »

Another update, from the BBC» (British Broadcasting Corporation - home page):

Quote
Two arrested over Western Greyhound Summercourt bus depot fire

Two men from Bristol have been arrested by police investigating a fire at a bus depot in Cornwall.

Thirty-five vehicles operated by Western Greyhound were destroyed or damaged during the blaze at the depot in Summercourt, near Newquay, in May.

Devon and Cornwall Police said the men, aged 43 and 18, were arrested in Bristol on Monday on suspicion of arson and interviewed in Launceston. They were released on bail until December.

More than 60 firefighters tackled the blaze on 13 May.

Western Greyhound said about a third of its fleet was affected. Among the vehicles destroyed were two new ^100,000 coaches and four of Truro's six park-and-ride buses.



Edit note: Link to BBC News story fixed. Chris.  Embarrassed
« Last Edit: July 24, 2013, 10:31:29 pm by chris from nailsea » Logged

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