The home of anything and everything to do with transport in and around Plymouth for NINE years and counting!
September has been a colourful month so far with more Blue Flash Volvos for Citybus and bright pink fronted Enviros being launched for Park & Ride by First.
©did by graham

16 September 2014

Cycle Network

Families will soon be able to enjoy some of the best views in the city from their saddles, thanks to improvements being made along Plymouth’s spectacular waterfront cycle route.

Work on the route, which is part of National Cycle Network Route 27 and connects the Barbican, the Hoe, Millbay and Royal William Yard, will begin on Monday 15 September.

A new contraflow cycle lane will run eastwards along Madeira Road, from the mini roundabout junction with Hoe Road and past the Citadel to the Elphinstone car park. A 20mph speed limit will also be introduced.

On Monday 27 October work will also begin to improve Millbay Roundabout so that cyclists and pedestrians can cross Millbay Road and travel through the roundabout more easily and safely. The work includes narrowing the space around the roundabout to slow down traffic, as well as creating a cycle route that avoids the roundabout altogether.

Both schemes – designed and being built by the Council’s highways contractor Amey – will make it easier and safer to explore the city’s magnificent waterfront and its historic features by bike, which will in turn provide an economic boost to waterfront businesses.

The improvements are being funded through the Coastal Communities Fund, along with the new bike hire hubs at the Royal William Yard and Commercial Wharf, which Rockets and Rascals have been running since Easter.

Councillor Mark Coker, Cabinet Member for Transport said: “Our waterfront is one of the most incredible features of Britain’s Ocean City and we are really keen to see it become easier for cyclists of all ages and abilities to enjoy the expansive views.

“This isn’t just about providing a cracking day out for tourists; it’s also about encouraging people here in Plymouth to get on their bikes, explore their surroundings and stay healthy and active. The recent Sky Ride brought hundreds of people out onto the waterfront.”

Sarah O’Leary, Waterfront Manager for the Plymouth Waterfront Partnership added: “The waterfront is one of our greatest assets and activities that encourage more people to visit are warmly welcomed. Building on existing ferry services and pedestrian and bus routes, better and safer facilities for cyclists are important and the link between the Royal William Yard and The Barbican is critical in directly benefitting businesses right across the area.”

Work on Madeira Road is expected to last six weeks and work on Millbay Roundabout will take around two weeks. There will be no daytime road closures. Plymouth Hoe, c.1920?

circa 1920. From Richard & Gill Long Collection

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15 September 2014

Kingsbridge Running Day coming up…

One of the highlights of the year is coming up this next Saturday:

KINGSBRIDGE 7'6" VINTAGE BUS RUNNING DAY - 20 September 2014

We have organised vintage bus running days in Kingsbridge every year since 2008 so this will be our seventh event in the South Hams
The routes we plan to use are those formerly operated by the Great Western Railway Road Motors, the Western National Omnibus Company and other local operators such as Tally Ho Coaches. Services to East Portlemouth, South Pool, Goveton, Slapton, Salcombe, Hope Cove, Thurlestone, Bantham, Loddiswell, California Cross and East Allington are being scheduled as before. The new services introduced in 2013 (the Coleridge Community Bus circular route 1 from Kingsbridge to Slapton, East Allington, Goveton and Ledstone and School Bus Route TNS004 through the Avon Valley coupled with pre-war rail replacement route 177 to and from South Brent) proved to be very popular and will be repeated this year. In addition there will be several short workings and a new town service with round trip times of less than 30 minutes to enable sampling a greater number of vehicles over the course of the day. Several routes will have duplicates so that passengers can change vehicles at outer termini

TVAGWOT: Kingsbridge Running Day 2014

City of Exeter 173 JFJ873

If you only get to one event this year, then make it this one!

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  • PUBLIC TRANSPORT EXPERIENCE: By Bus It's Hard; Going From Chard [5] it is interesting to compare running times. In 1964 Taunton to Axminster was a journey of 1 hour 20 or 1 hour 24 minutes; whereas today, by running non stop along the much faster A358 between Thornfalcon and Ilminster; ... and using more powerful buses that are easier to drive, the journey takes 1 hour 23 minutes!
  • IAN VISITS: Weekly round-up of London’s railway transport news The consortium has been selected by London Underground to extend the Northern Line. The project, which includes digging two tunnels and building two new stations, is worth £500 million.
  • FOCUS TRANSPORT: ARRIVA SELLS LONDON TOURIST OPERATION RATP Dev announces the acquisition of “The Original London Sightseeing Tour”, a pioneer and major operator in the sightseeing sector in London, thereby confirming expansion in this field and in the United Kingdom.
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  • ANDYS BUS BLOG: Looking back... Eastern Counties seventies selection Today our regular guest blogger Philip Slynn returns with the first of a brand new three part feature Looking back... at a selection of Eastern Counties photographs he took in the seventies, included are an interesting selection shots taken in and around the Peterborough, Norwich and Cambridge areas...
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  • IAN VISITS: Fancy a luxury meal in a London Underground train? London Underground would like to offer passengers a luxury dining experience in a Royal railway carriage. Nope, not a joke, but real. Back in 2010, TfL acquired heritage coach DM45029, which is notable amongst railway buffs for being the last coach upon which the entire Royal Family travelled together.
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13 September 2014

Callington 79

Cornwall Council has confirmed that from Monday 22 September, the bus service between Callington and Tavistock will transfer from Western Greyhound  Ltd to Plymouth Citybus  Ltd. The Council is grateful to Western Greyhound for cooperating and ensuring a smooth transition to the new service. The new service has been revised slightly to give better efficiency. Provision will be restored to housing estates on the north of Callington and journey time between the two mains towns of Callington and Tavistock has also been reduced. Journeys through Harrowbarrow and Metherall will return to the pre June 2014 frequency level of two-hourly. The Cothele area will be served by a dial-a-ride service provided by Darren’s Taxis of Callington.

Peter Oliver, Commercial Manager of Plymouth Citybus Ltd, said “Plymouth Citybus is delighted to be once again operating the service between Callington and Tavistock under the service number 79/A.

The new timetable maintains a number of important links within Callington and an hourly service between Callington and Tavistock with journeys now able to accommodate a number of the school movements between the two towns".

There will be two new tickets introduced specifically for the 79/79A route between Tavistock and Callington.

There will be a 7 day ticket that will be available from the driver and via the plymouthbus mobile app at £16 adult and £13 child (under 19), plus a 31 day ticket available from plymouthbus mobile only at £59 adult and £44.25 child.

In addition to this the Plymouth Citybus Tavi tickets will also be extended to include the 79/79A, meaning that passengers can extend their travel onto services 11 and 42, plus all zone 1 and 2 Citybus services for a small extra charge.

I am also happy to confirm that in spite of reports in the press at the time (as mentioned on Plymothian Transit) that THE ROUTE WAS NOT TAKEN OFF WESTERN GREYHOUND BY THE COUNCIL. It was WG themselves who told the council that they wished to come off the service. They also agreed to remain on the route until the council had managed to secure another operator to take over.

I end with a recommendation from Brian Bell:

If anyone has not done the section of bus route via Cothele (currently Western Greyhound 575), this is a really superb route with very narrow roads, and is well worth doing over the next week. Whereas Plymouth City Bus had to divert to avoid the narrowest roads on the 79A (Cothele to Harrowbarrow section), Western Greyhound have reverted to using the very narrow lane. Operates twice a day Mon to Sat. A very highly recommended ride !!

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11 September 2014

Coach Station Consultation

West End traders and residents, taxi and private hire companies, transport operators, as well as passengers are all being invited to comment on proposals for a new coach hub for Plymouth.

Plymouth City Council wants to hear what people think about their plans for the hub on the site of the Mayflower West car park in the city’s West End.

Detailed work has been carried out on the proposal which the Council wants to submit for planning permission in October.

The new coach station will have: Up-to-date passenger waiting facilities on Armada Way (Maxwell House). The former Lloyds Bank building will be completely renovated with new front and rear entrances, toilets, ticket sales, comfy seating area, information screens as well as a food/drink/news concession seven coach parking bays (two more than the existing bus station) sheltered outside waiting area taxi rank Passenger drop off/pick up area improved public space with quality paving and planting, improved security with CCTV, lighting and activity Car parking for over 100 cars

The project also outlines changes to the road layouts near the proposed station that would be needed. This includes:

No access for vehicles from Market Way Reversal of one-way system on service road around former Mayflower West Car Park Mayflower Street to become one-way between coach hub entrance and Armada Way Signals installed at coach station and Mayflower Street junction

The project team has written to key stakeholders including the City Centre Company, Plymouth Waterfront Partnership, Destination Plymouth as well as ward councillors, MPs, Plymouth Chamber of Commerce, the emergency services, the Federation of Small Businesses, coach operators, taxi and private hire companies and the Confederation of Passenger Transport

And they plan to hold two events at 171 Armada Way on for anyone to come along and have their say on 16 and 17 September.

Councillor Mark Coker, Cabinet Member for Transport said: “We know where the new coach station is going to be, but we want to make sure we have got the right features and that the scheme reflects the needs of as many people as possible who will use it.”

Councillor Mark Lowry, Cabinet Member for Assets and Finance said: “This is a big project that could add an extra 200,000 visitors to the West End and shows our commitment to the city centre and its businesses.”

The new coach hub will replace the tired out-dated coach station at Bretonside, which is being redeveloped as part of a major investment package proposed by British Land, the owner of Drake Circus and the UK’s largest listed retail landlord.

The proposal for ‘Drake Circus Leisure’ is for a 12-screen cinema complex, 13 restaurants as well as parking for over 400 cars as well as extensive improvements to public areas with features, seating and planting. The scheme would transform the link from the city centre to the Barbican and the Waterfront, making it more attractive and easier for visitors and shoppers to move from one to the other.

The events take place at 171 Armada Way on Tuesday 16 September from 2pm to 7pm and Wednesday 17 September from 10am to 2pm. The consultation period will run until 22 October. Information and an online feedback questionnaire will be on the Council website www.plymouth.gov.uk/coachhub Plymouth City Council   Google Drive City Council   Google Drive Click here for larger view (pdf)

I must admit I still like this as it has to be a much better option that the awful Bretonside Coach Station. It is a lot smaller but then it is just for coach services. If it is done properly then this could be a useful addition to this fairly grotty end of town. I am sure many will disagree with me on this! Whatever your views please make sure you let the council know:

 

Consultation Document Plymouth City Council Online Consultation

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