03 January 2010

Plymothian Transit Predicts 2010

So we have had our quick look back at 2009 in the last two blog posts so lets have a quick look at what we can expect to see in 2010:
There are really two big questions we will see answered in some ways over the next twelve months

What will Go-Ahead do with Plymouth Citybus?

We will almost certainly see a new look for Plymouth Citybus. The new MD has already stated that the company will remain as 'Plymouth Citybus' but I expect to see a nice new livery, almost certainly retaining red as the main colour. Go-Ahead do some great liveries so hopes are high!
I am sure it wont be long before we start seeing some new buses joining the fleet. Go-Ahead have favoured Scania for many of the south coast fleets recently so I wouldn't be surprised to see some come to Plymouth. Being part of a larger group also opens up possibilities for transfers of buses between fleets so we may well see a few second-hand buses arrive from Go-Ahead fleets to help see off the remaining step entrance Darts and Mercedes bread vans. We already have a nice fleet of ex Go-Ahead double deckers in Plymouth, although this is pure coincidence as they were arranged before the company was sold. Some more double deckers would be nice - but is that hoping for too much?
Routes: To be honest I am not expecting too many changes to the route network for the first half of the year at least. If and when there are major changes planned expect to see a big effort by the company explaining the changes and highlighting the benefits.

Where will First go with Ugo?

I dont think we will see any new Ugo routes springing up next year. I am sure they will want to give the current routes time to pick up custom so I don't see any major changes to their network for a while. I would not be surprised to see changes to the Tavistock routes as these do seem to struggle to keep to anything like a timetable.
69245, Royal Parade, Plymouth, 12/10/09 (by aecregent)
©AecRegent. Will the bus wars continue?

Other operators

Target will probably continue to pick up extra work from the council as it continues to cut back on route subsidies. Expect to see more Solos seeing off some of the older Mercedes. Western Greyhound will continue to grow, and possibly increase their presence on routes coming into the City.

Other subjects

There will be lots of talk about extra rail links to and from Plymouth, including the Tavistock line but not much will actually happen. Plymouth City Council will continue to cut back on route subsidies, and the Real Time system will all but be forgotten along with Plymgo. I hope I am wrong on both of these...
The free travel scheme for pensioners will continue to be a big story as local authorities struggle to afford the payments which the bus companies already say are insufficient to cover the costs. This story may well grow during the coming general election...

Plymothian Transit

I hope it will be business as usual for 2010! I can predict more of my own photographs again as I will be purchasing a new camera within the next week or so, once I have done my homework! I also hope to get out and about a bit more in Plymouth to cover the history of transport in the City better than I have in 2009. Health issues in 2009 saw me restricted in my travels for a large portion of the year, with three months off work and staying indoors. I certainly wont want to see a repeat of these in 2010!
Well, that’s my predictions for 2010. Feel free to comment on my suggestions - or add any of your own in the comments to this post.


  1. I see 2010 being the make or break year for FDC... If they can not make enough of a success in Plymouth then things could very dire... Expect to to see the "C" part of FDC get even smaller ...

    It will be interesting to see if under Go-Ahead PCB will spread it's wings outside of Plymouth ? In recent years PCB has operated tenders in Tavistock, and for a while ran the route to Liskeard (again under tender ?) - both now no more but could we see Go-Ahead looking to spread their wings ?

  2. I think FDC will look to scale down their rural operations, namely lose more services in Cornwall and concentrate more on their urban services, so if I was them I would be looking to expand further in Plymouth, where I believe their UGOBUS services are doing very well at the expense perhaps of Citybus!
    Go Ahead I would suggest should be very careful before encroaching onto more FDC routes, as the potential extra income frm routes to places like Tavistock and Ivybridge could be completely overrun by losses if FDC retaliate and run more UGOBUS services to say Whitlegh (44) or Ham (35)

  3. When looking at some of the new Ugo bus routes started in competition with Citybus barely carrying a handful of passengers, especially the Ernesettle route, apart from the pensioners with free passes. I am all for opening up new travel opportunities, However, First are just creaming off the profits of Citybus. I hope Go Ahead wont take this laying down. The Elburton Citybus route looks to be well patronised.
    I had to attend Derriford Hospital yesterday and used the George Park and Ride/Target Travel 60 what a bargain £1.20 and a reliable service, however it should be advertised a little better to increase patronage.


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