The home of anything and everything to do with transport in and around Plymouth for NINE years and counting!
As 2015 gets going its clearly going to be a busy year transport wise. The ongoing competition between First and Citybus is going to be one to watch with Stagecoach also on the edges looking for any new business opportunities!
2015 will also see the tenth anniversary of Plymothian Transit, making it, I think, the longest continually running bus blog in the UK unless I am missing one?
©did by graham

02 March 2015

The Dog is Back Online

Western Greyhound.com

After being off-line for a week or so, the brand new Western Greyhound web site is now up and running:
Our new site has been designed from the ground up to make the things you do most on our site easiest. Timetables, maps, departures times and even this news system are all designed to display information clearly. Be sure to have a good look around our new site and let us know what you think. Here at Western Greyhound we're trying to make travelling with us as stress-free as possible, and that's exactly what this site is here to do.
Western Greyhound.com
Initial impressions are pretty good. Its a clean design and all the useful links see to be available from the front page.
The News section is pretty much what you would expect. They will need to keep it up to date though, something which too many companies seem to forget.
The Tickets section is less than useful.
We do not currently maintain a comprehensive list of fares on our web site, but details of the various tickets available to you are outlined below.
For information about the cost of a specific journey or ticket (except Season Tickets) please don't hesitate to get in touch with the Passenger Information Team and they will do their best to help. For information about season tickets, please email ticketing@westerngreyhound.com and give details of the journey you want to make and the desired duration of the ticket.

I am not sure why they can't put full details on their season tickets on the web site. Its exactly the sort of information that potential passengers will be looking for when they come to the site. If those same potential passengers visit another bus company web site, say First Kernow for example, they will soon find out exactly what tickets are available without having to wait for a reply to an email.
Western Greyhound Routes
Clicking through on the 593...
WG Times
As you can see they use the Traveline timetables rather than their own. I know some don't like these at all, but in general I find them ok. They are not as good a some operators own productions but then they are a lot better than some others. If you click through on the large Print Version (PDF) you do get a timetable you can indeed print out, and has been designed to print on a A4 page. Something you can't do with Plymouth Citybus, and is also a bit rubbish on First.
So lets have a look at the map...
Western GreyhoundMAPS
Oh dear! They would have been better linking through to the Traveline Maps, whilst not brilliant they do at least generally follow the roads.

The Coach Hire and Advertising pages are as you would expect them to be. The Links page is interesting...
Western Greyhound Links
Note the inclusion of First Devon & Cornwall, their main competitor! (but NOT Plymouth Citybus - who are supposed to link up with their 593 at Liskeard...). Well done Western Greyhound for this comprehensive list. I cant see First linking back to them though!
The Enthusiast link such gives you a mailing list you can join for now, and then we come to the FAQ page
Western GreyhoundFAQ
A great idea but some of this is a bit out of date...
Who is Western Greyhound? Western Greyhound is a locally-based, family-run business that has been operating since 1998. We run an extensive bus network throughout Cornwall and into Devon, offering services which frequently connect together to provide excellent journey opportunities in the region. Our fleet can be identified by a smart green and white livery and our routes are numbered in the 500 series. Our buses are reliable because we take immense pride in ensuring a high quality of service, resulting in us recently receiving the prestigious national award for Operating Excellence for Small Fleets for two years running. The company continues to grow from strength to strength, having just taken over the Corlink service and also beating off stiff competition to earn the new Truro Park and Ride tender. If you would like to read a more detailed history of Western Greyhound, wish to view our fleet list or archive photographs visit our enthusiasts and photos webpage. (dont - its not there anymore)

Conclusion

All in all its a pretty impressive effort and a nice looking web site. There are a few issues which could be fixed quite easily, such as the missing information on bus tickets, and the maps clearly need a bit of work if they are to be of any real use. Its very early days for the new site so there are bound to be a few missing links and out of date information. As long as the company keeps the site up to date with news and timetables then it should be a successful web site. Its certainly a lot nicer to look at than the First Cornwall site, and a lot easier to use then the awful Stagecoach site. Western Greyhound

The News

  • Focus Transport: Wetherby man launches Supreme Court bid in bus access row
    A disabled man who won a court ruling over bus wheelchair access which was later overturned has launched a bid to take the case to the Supreme Court. Doug Paulley, from Wetherby, was denied access to a First Group bus when a woman with a pushchair refused to move

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27 February 2015

More room to stop

New Bus Stops on Royal Parade

Welcome news from the City Council:
Work to create two new bus bays on Royal Parade will get under way on Monday 2 March. The new bays, which are being installed on the westbound side of Royal Parade (the side nearest the Civic Centre), will help tackle congestion along this busy route and improve service reliability.
They will help prevent problems with buses crowding around stops during peak times of the day and also provide space for buses to wait between services, so they don’t block busy stops. The new bays will be built on either side of the pedestrian crossing, near the existing stops outside the Guildhall (A4) and the Civic Centre (A5). They will each accommodate an additional bus and a new double-length waiting shelter.
Local bus companies welcome the new bays and are working with the Council to make the best use of the extra space, which will include relocating some services. Work to create the bays is expected to take around nine weeks and the new shelters will be installed early this summer. The works should not affect traffic along Royal Parade.
Councillor Mark Coker, Cabinet Member for Transport, said: “Royal Parade is the city’s main bus interchange and buses are often jostling for space at busy times. By creating these extra bays and providing more space we can help bus companies to ensure services are on time and keep bus passengers, drivers and other road users safe.”
Richard Stevens, Managing Director of Plymouth Citybus, said: “We welcome this additional space on Royal Parade. These new bays will be of significant benefit for our bus operations and our passengers.”
Robbie Lamerton, General Manager of First South West, said: “I'm pleased to see this investment towards improving the bus network in Plymouth. The new bays are in prime locations and will deliver much need capacity.”

Its good to see some effort going in to finding some more space on Royal Parade as it is very overcrowded with buses at times. Its hard though to see how any more space can be found.
Personally I would like to see a one way system introduced around the whole City Centre with one of the carriageways on Royal Parade being given over completely to Buses, but I can't say I can see this happening as it would be very unpopular with car drivers!
Royal Parade, Plymouth, c.1951
Talking of Bus Stops. life could get more interesting at Derriford Hospital as the works outside the main entrance move on a stage today (Friday) as new pavements are put in place. All parking at the front is closed off which could help a bit but expect even more traffic congestion while this work takes place!

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26 February 2015

By Royal Appointment

Royal William Yard Extra Buses

People visiting, working and living in Plymouth’s Royal William Yard will benefit from more frequent buses from mid-April, thanks to funding from Plymouth City Council.
A new contract with Plymouth Citybus will see the introduction of a service 34A which, when combined with the existing service 34, will double the frequency of buses serving the Royal William Yard from Monday to Saturday and quadruple it during the daytime on a Sunday.
The 34A will run between the city centre and Royal William Yard via Millbay and complement the number 34, which also runs out to Derriford Hospital, via Milehouse and Crownhill.
From 12 April buses between the city centre and Royal William Yard will run up to every 15 minutes between 6.30am and 11.30pm Monday to Saturday and until 6pm on a Sunday (reverting to a half hourly service in the evening).
Citybus will also increase the frequency of Sunday buses out to Derriford to every half an hour, compared to the current hourly service.
The new contract is being funded partly through the Plymotion project (using some of the money recently won from the Department for Transport’s Local Sustainable Transport Fund) and partly by developer contributions from the Royal William Yard.
There is enough funding to support the improved service for around two years, after which time it is hoped the new timetable will be able to continue on a commercial basis.
Councillor Mark Coker, Cabinet Member for Transport said: “We’re really pleased to support this enhanced service, which will help boost the number of visitors to the Royal William Yard and at the same time reduce the need for people to use their cars. It should also benefit people living and working in the yard by making it quicker and easier to get to and from the city centre and other connecting services.”
Richard Stevens, Managing Director of Plymouth Citybus said: “This step-change in frequency mirrors the growth of demand for the yard and will provide a fast, regular and affordable link. Plymouth City Council

Unusually the new timetable for the 34 34A is not yet available on the Plymouth Citybus web site although the other new timetables are.
This is not the first time that the 34 has been enhanced as part of a deal with developers...
The contravision livery was completely over the top! While it didn't look too bad when new... Plymouth Citybus 133 WA56HHO
it faded badly especial;ly over the windows and by the end it was looking awful
Plymouth Citybus 134 WA56HHP
It was helped a bit when they removed the contravision from the windows
Plymouth Citybus 133 WA56HHO
And sometimes they lost even more than that!
Plymouth Citybus 135 WA56HHN
The biggest improvement to these buses was the full repaint into the then current livery. I have never been a fan of this scheme but it was a lot better than what they wore before!
Plymouth Citybus 135 WA56HHN

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25 February 2015

Celebration Crushed by Crass Council for Crash

This year was to have been the 30th year of the Plymouth Bus Rally on The Hoe. Sadly due to the City Council pandering to the needs of MTV the even has been cancelled as explained by the WNPG:
This very popular event, enjoyed by so many, has been forced out of the calendar by the City Council block booking the Hoe for the whole of July in favour of a Television Company’s requirements. The last weekend of July has always been the regular planned date for the Bus and Vehicle Rally to take place. Regular Supporters, Caterers, Visiting Bus owners and side shows etc., all plan their calendar up to twelve months in advance. This year they are not able to attend on the dates the City Council have offered for our use. We planned that this year would be a special two day event in celebration of the 30th Anniversary of the Rally. We hoped to run the ever popular free bus rides over the old 1975 Plymouth Joint Service routes.
The reason behind this situation is to accommodate the television company MTV by allowing it to block book the Hoe for the whole of the month whilst only televising two nights performances as part of their Plymouth “Crashes” programme. They have yet to publish their actual dates required but we have, in fairness to all the participants both near and far, had to cancel the Rally as the regular date is currently unavailable due to the above and they must be given the opportunity to examine alternative scheduled events they can attend.
With the popularity of The Hoe for big events, I am sure the bus rally isn't the only event planned for The Hoe that has had to be cancelled due to this bizarre ruling. Surely MTV will have a good idea when their event will be held? Why should everyone else's events be held hostage by the council and MTV? Of course, Bus Rallies are not "cool" so wouldn't be seen as such good publicity opportunities for senior councillors, or am I being too cynical? s
WNPG Rally 2014: OCO502 Plymouth Citybus 9133 YJ62FBB P1100979 Roselyn E2RCL WNPG 2010 Line up Western National 2019 824KDV