25 March 2008

Fury at buses 30-mile limit

R480RRA Exeter 25/10/07Its not often a Plymouth bus service hits the front page of a national daily newspaper but it happened today - in The Sun!

Fury at buses' 30-mile EU limit

THOUSANDS of passengers are being forced to hop off buses midway through journeys to comply with barmy EU laws. A Brussels ruling has banned local services longer than 30 miles to ensure drivers don’t spend too long at the wheel. As a result, drivers have to pull in as they hit that limit and order everyone OFF their bus. They then change the route number on the front and invite passengers to jump back ON before resuming the trip.

Western Greyhound has split its Newquay to Plymouth route in three — even though it uses a single driver throughout. Passengers must buy three tickets and break their journey twice. Managing director Mark Howarth said: “It’s a farce. We have to kick customers off as soon as the driver hits the 30-mile limit. “Often it’s in the middle of nowhere. Passengers think we’re crazy.

Mark has been outspoken on this legislation so its good to see that his voice is being heard.

Other Greyhound news while we are on the subject:

Western Greyhound has taken over the demand-responsive North Cornwall
Corlink network of services this weekend from Liskeard and District. These operates in the Camelford, Bodmin and Wadebridge areas. Service 250 (ex Wadebridge Postbus) has ceased. A number of early summer enhancements started at Easter, one bus on
service 501 Newquay to St Ives, running similarly to the 2006 season and the usual summer Sunday services on 556, 584 and 594/5. All timetables are on their website

Regrettably, due to the substantial increase in the price of diesel, we are afraid that we must pass this on to our customers in order to maintain the current level of service. From Sunday 23rd March, we regret that our minimum fare will rise to £1 and then in most cases fares will rise by 10p (on current fares up to £1.90), 20p (up to £2.90), 30p (up to £3.90) or 40p. The Day Explorer will also rise to £7 adult, £4.50 child and £14 family.

Considering that the day rider covers Stagecoach as well as WGL £7 is not too bad.

Finally Mark also gives us a teaser about his heritage fleet:

VR259 has returned to "heritage" status. It will receiving a new floor downstairs and will be repainted for the summer, as it has worked unusually hard due to the increased double-deck requirement this year. 259's new livery will be different, but don't ask me please, it will be a surprise.

As a VR fan I cant wait for that!

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