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Author Topic: Bus services in Cornwall - route and operator changes - First Bus, Plymouth Citybus, Western Greyhound  (Read 32120 times)
Kernow Otter
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« Reply #15 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 ?
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Rhydgaled
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« Reply #16 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.
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----------------------------
Don't DOO (Driver-Only Operation (that is, trains which operate without carrying a guard)) it, keep the guard (but it probably wouldn't be a bad idea if the driver unlocked the doors on arrival at calling points).
Kernow Otter
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« Reply #17 on: October 26, 2013, 01:23:07 am »

As it stands, FGW (First Great Western) 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 (Exeter St Davidsnext trains ) stopping services.... Wink
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old original
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« Reply #18 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

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bignosemac
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« Reply #19 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.
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« Reply #20 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» (British Broadcasting Corporation - home page) 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
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bignosemac
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« Reply #21 on: November 13, 2014, 02:33:33 pm »

From the Cornish Guardian:

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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.
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There is a rumour going around that I have found God. I think this is unlikely because I have enough difficulty finding my keys, and there is empirical evidence that they exist. - Sir Terry Pratchett
LiskeardRich
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« Reply #22 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.
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LiskeardRich
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« Reply #23 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.
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6 OF 2 redundant adjunct of unimatrix 01
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« Reply #24 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?
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Pb_devon
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« Reply #25 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
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LiskeardRich
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« Reply #26 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» (Communication Workers Union - website)
WK59 CWW
WK59 CWX
WK59 CWY
WK59 CWZ
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Chris from Nailsea
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« Reply #27 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 and merged them here, in the interests of clarity and continuity.

Hope this helps. CfN.  Smiley
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old original
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« Reply #28 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
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« Reply #29 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.
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