20 July 2006

First are really spoiling us again

Derriford Hospital had another Bus Users Forum today attended by representatives from the City Council, First Devon & Cornwall and Plymouth Citybus. It was actually a fairly quiet affair with only 3 staff turning up this time - I guess many are away at the moment, although with no timetable changes to annoy staff at the moment either things are fairly quiet anyway.

The biggest contentious issue was the poor deal Plymouth pensioners get with the free bus passes compared with Devon and Cornwall. This was fairly explained by the Council representative as all being down to money and how the money from Government has been poorly distributed. He actually did a good job at explaining all this, and the staff raising the issue did accept his reasons.

The one little bit of good news I managed to find out from Marc Reddy from FDC was about the X80 Plymouth Torbay service. I have noticed the increasing use of Dennis Dart single deckers on the service recently whilst the big 'Airbus' Olympian double deckers seem increasing use on city services. This was partly to keep the buses 'local' he said. He did also confirm that later this year the X80 was getting low floor double deckers. There had been rumours of a batch coming from Bath which at first some thought might be for the Park and Ride instead of new double deckers. As we have already found out the new buses are coming later this year.

All in all its just another sign of improvement at FDC.


  1. How did the Council Representative explain and justify the doubling of fares for the disabled and pensioners? We used to get half-price fares for journies outside Plymouth and now we have to pay full fares.

  2. Its all down to Government funding and how they pay it out. Plymouth is one of many councils which end up worse off. Because they have to pay for free travel within their boundary they cant then afford to subsidise half price travel Devon wide. Its a national problem which affects some councils more than others. It will change in 2008! when the new national scheme goes ahead (isnt that the next general election?!)


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