07 August 2010

U dont go there anymore

First have now revealed the timetable changes due at the end of this month:
Changes to services in Plymouth from 28/29th August 2010
ugobus service 12 (City - Chaddlewood)
A new service 12 timetable will be in operation from Sunday 29 August operating up to every 12 minutes from Monday to Saturday and hourly on Sundays and Public Holidays.
The City Centre routing of service 12 will also be altered slightly. From Exeter Street and St Andrews Cross instead of serving Charles Street, Mayflower Street and Western Approach, service 12 will continue along the Viaduct down Royal Parade, around Derrys Cross roundabout and back up Royal Parade (to stop A11).
Service 15 (City - Estover/Mainstone)
Unfortunately due to a lower demand than we had hoped from (and including) Sunday 29th August Sunday Public Holiday journeys will be withdrawn. From Monday to Saturday service 15 will continue to operate a 20 minute frequency between the City, Mutley, Crownhill, Derriford Hospital, Estover and Mainstone.
Service 13 (City - Ernesettle)
Service 13 will cease operation after its last journey on Saturday 28 August 2010. Wed like to thank those who supported and used service 13 and apologise for any inconvenience caused.
Service 17 (City - Southway)
Service 17 will cease operation after its last journey on Saturday 28 August 2010. Wed like to thank those who supported and used service 17 and apologise for any inconvenience caused.
Source page

It does mention that the new timetables are available - but they were not there when I looked earlier.

You can see more detail on these changes and the past history of these routes on my Plymothian Transit Extra pages:
Route 12
Route 13
Route 15
Route 17

PTOTPA: Olympian Allocations
Transport of Delight: Idiots caught on cameraSlippery Slope
Omnibuses: Reading between the lines


  1. It's a shame to see the UGOBUS 17 go, I thought that one was doing alright. The 13 doesn't suprise me it never seemed to take off. I thought they would cut Sunday service on UGO 15 to hourly I am surprised they have removed it altogether.

    I think they introduced these routes to protect themselves when Citybus was sold and now have realised that Go Ahead aren't such a threat so have retreated back to their own more profitable routes, with the exception of UGOBUS 11, 12 and 15 that are making too much profit I suspect to withdraw.

  2. Am I being totally naive on this! Surely there must be a better way to operate bus services within the Plymouth City boundary. Wouldn’t it be more sensible for First Devon & Cornwall and GoAhead Plymouth Citybus to share their routes rather than developing two competing networks. I am sure this has been achieved in the past and it would be even better if there could be common ticketing whereby a First ticket or a Citybus ticket could be used on each other’s services. Surely if this was thought out properly both companies could benefit from each other and there would not be what I see as a ridiculous situation whereby one company seems to be almost trying to bankrupt the other, or is this not how large transport PLC’s work. Also as has been mentioned before staff (people) become directly affected by all of this and surely hiring and firing on a whim is not a good way of treating what should be their valued employees?

  3. Good idea in principle but I don't think you will get either company to agree to who has what route. Trouble is there are only a few real profitable routes hence the competion in Plympton, Plymstock and north of the city, and dwindling services elsewhere!!! I would like to see First make more of a fight of it tho. I think both companies want the whole cake!!!

  4. Anon 13:08, you present a beacon of common sense of course, but if applied in the way you suggest it would unfortunately lead to the competition authorities beginning proceedings against both operators for illegal collusion.

    Since bus deregulation in the 1980s, local bus services (outside of London) have been legally required to operate on a textbook free-market basis, the idea being that multiple operators each competing for custom and setting their own routes, timetables, fares and tickets, would drive standards up and fares down. It is fair to say that even the current two-operator situation in Plymouth is tame compared to the multitude of one-man-band owner-drivers chasing each other down the streets that were envisaged by the architects of the current deregulated framework.

    Of course many people in the real world, such as you and me, would argue that, while this kind of model may work well for retail businesses for instance, it simply does not work for bus networks which inherrently need some kind of co-ordination and integration to make them into an efficient, useful, comprehensive, joined-up service for the passengers actually trying to use them!

    Having said all that, the Transport Act 2008 does now provide a mechanism for the local authority to act as an intemediary between rival operators to forge exactely the kind of co-ordination and co-operation that you describe, without falling foul of the competition police in their ivory towers. This is currently in the process of being implemented in Oxford, where Go-Ahead and Stagecoach have competed head-to-head for many years.


    Time to start lobbying the council I think!! (If, as Anon 18:03 points out, the operators could reach agreement - which I agree might be a 'big if'.)

  5. Anon 15:18 many thanks for your explanation. I obviously had heard of deregulation in 1985 but had honestly never thought that it would result in the sort of problems that Plymouth now seems to be experiencing. I thought that deregulation was more to do with the breaking up of the National Bus Company but hadn’t realised that it actively discouraged various operators working together to provide an integrated network (which I guess is seen as anti-competitive!). The problem is that in the last year or so areas such as Wembury (and other as well) have lost a significant number of services each day, whilst Plymstock has the two Plymouth operators chasing each other around the streets, every quarter of an hour or so during the daytime. This is just so frustrating and does not seem a sensible use of resources. I do hope that the 2008 Transport Act can bring some form of co-ordination to the public transport scene, otherwise this present way of operating has the potential to make public transport unavailable to some of the Plymouth areas population.

  6. It also should be remembered that both these Companies have to provide dividends to shareholders. Therefore unless the Council subsidises a marginal route it will not operate. Service 48 is a prime example. Without the current DCC subsidy the service would be unsustainable particularly in the current economic climate. Funny how no one has picked up on Target Travel withdrawing almost every one of its bus services from September.
    My guess is to see more tidying of marginl routes from PCB and more withdrawals from FDC


Have something interesting to say? Please share it here!

(Moderation is currently switched on so please allow a short while before your comment appears on the site. This is only to cut down on spam - not to cut out people who disagree with me!)