First Devon & Cornwall have given details of their new timetable for the Tavistock services in January:
There are a few small changes to timetables due to Devon County Council awarding us the tender to operate evening journeys. As the Sunday daytime timetable is now operated wholly on a commercial basis (no journeys are financially supported by Devon County Council), this means tickets sold by other operators will no longer be valid for use on return journeys during the daytime. However, as evening journeys are supported by Devon County Council (after 1835) tickets sold by other operators may be used on these return journeys. All evening journeys from Plymouth will now depart from Royal Parade, Stand A19 (and no longer serve the bus station). New paper timetable guides will be available from our travel shops in Plymouth Bus Station and The George Park & Ride from 18 December.
The most interesting news coming from First though is from their Cornwall operations:
On 5 January were changing the types of tickets we sell, and their prices. Please read the information below which we've put together to help explain what the changes are and why we are making them.
Are fares going up?
Yes, many people will find their fares have increased, although a number will find theirs have been reduced.
Why are fares going up?
There are a number of reasons why we need to increase the fares we charge. All of them are to do with covering the increased costs of running buses.
Are all the fares rising by the same amount?
No. Weve taken the decision to overhaul all our fares, to provide a much simpler set of fares that can be easily understood and communicated to customers. It means there will be fewer fares for single and return journeys, and there will be a new range of tickets for people who travel regularly.
Why change the ticket types?
Our existing tickets havent been reviewed for many, many years.
We want to have a range of easy to understand tickets. Tickets that are easy to choose between and are attractive and simple enough to appeal to visitors as well as local residents.
Will some ticket types disappear?
Yes. Well be keeping single and return tickets, but all the existing passes will be replaced by a range of 1, 2, 3 and 7 day tickets and a month ticket. The current 10 and 14 journey tickets will no longer be available, and neither will tickets over a month long.
Will there still be child tickets?
Yes, and we are extending the ages covered by child tickets to 5-16 years inclusive.
Will the child discount be changing?
Yes, child fares will be reduced to half of the full adult fare. Child versions of every ticket will be available, at half the adult fare.
Will dog fares be going up?
We are removing the charge for dogs altogether.
Will return fares be changing?
Although many of our fares are increasing, we are improving the discount return fares offer over buying two single tickets. Return fares will now be one and a half times the single fare.
We are also changing the conditions of return fares. Return tickets will now be valid for up to 5 days from the date the ticket was purchased.
Will 1 and 3 day tickets still be sold?
Yes. Were also introducing a 2 day ticket. So well be offering 1,2,3 and 7 day tickets and a month tickets.
Will Family Tickets be Changing?
We are increasing our range of family tickets. Well now offer 1, 2, 3 and 7 day family tickets. Family ticket prices will be based on the price of 2 adults, meaning that children are free.
Were also removing the limit on the number of children who can travel on a family ticket. They will allow travel for up to two adults and an unlimited number of children.
Will the concession pre 9.30am post 11pm ticket still be available?
Yes, our revised 'Early Bird' ticket is available to concession and disabled pass holders for travel before 9.30am and after 11pm. The price is now £2.00 for any single trip.
What will I pay from 5 January?
- Single and returns -
Current single fare 90p - £2.00 New single fare £2.00 New return fare £3.00
Current single fare £2.05 - £2.95 New single fare £3.00 New return fare £4.50
Current single fare £3.00 - £4.20 New single fare £4.00 New return fare £6.00
Current single fare £4.20 - £6.95 New single fare £5.00 New return fare £7.50
- Multi use tickets -
Cornwall 1 day: Adult £10.00, Child £5.00, Family £20.00 Cornwall 2 day: Adult £15.00, Child £7.50, Family £30.00 Cornwall 3 day: Adult £20.00, Child £10.00, Family £40.00 Cornwall 7 day: Adult £25.00, Child £12.50, Family £50.00 Cornwall Month: Adult £100.00, Child £50.00, Family n/a
To view the above information and fares in an A5 leaflet format (which can also be printed) please click below. Copies of this leaflet will also be available on bus and from our travel shops in Penzance and Truro bus stations from 16 December.
There is a lot to take in with with these massive changes and I am sure it will take a day or two before the full impact starts to reach people in Cornwall as some people will see some very steep rises in fares (90p to £2 single is a noticeable increase!) whilst some will clearly see reductions (£6.95 single down to £5) The much more simple fare structure is a brave one as its a big jump between fares – an extra stop could end up costing £1 extra! First are clearly wanting to push people to their multi-use tickets but these are not cheap! The current Day ticket for Cornwall is £7.20 for an adult – now up to £10. Ouch!
The most interesting change is the “unlimited number of children” on the family ticket. That is a brave move and one which potentially opens up a minefield. Do users have to prove that all the children with them are family members? It has to be noted that the £20 family ticket is up from the current £12.40 although limited to 2 adults and 3 children. These increase put the tickets on the same prices as the current Ride Cornwall ticket at £10 adult and £20 family (3 children) which is of course valid on all operators buses and the trains so seems much better value.
It will be very interesting over the coming days to see the public response to these changes.
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