10 September 2010

Ugo Woolwell? good luck with that then

The second part of yesterdays post will have to wait as news has now been confirmed of yet more cuts by FDC.
There have been several comments made over the past few days that the 7 and 11 were being cancelled. These have now appeared on VOSA

Cancellation Accepted: Operating between Plymouth Royal Parade and Woolwell given service number 7 effective from 31-Oct-2010.

Cancellation Accepted: Operating between Plymouth, City Centre and Plymouth, City Centre given service number 11 effective from 31-Oct-2010.

The 7 is not really a surprise as the 15 had probably taken a lot of the traffic from the City Centre - Derriford corridor. The 11 though is a surprise as it seems to have been doing fairly well and has been the longest lived of the competing services introduced by First.
Already staff at Derriford can foresee problems as Woolwell looks like it is being served by the Tavistock buses. Passengers for Woolwell can see problems with capacity at peak times as the Tavistock services can get very busy. Tavistock bound passengers have always objected to the longer journey if their bus diverts into Woolwell. This has been tried in the past and was never popular. I will wait and see what the new timetables look like!
First 32817 T817LLC The 7 still sees double deck operation including these nice Dennis Tridents.

You do get the sense that First have lost interest in Plymouth again. It was nice that First seemed to be putting some effort into Plymouth even if their motives were questionable. The Ugobus concept is a good one and Citybus have applied the same simplification principles to many of its own routes. I still catch the Ugobus 15 as it is a reliable service and generally does turn up on time, something which the Citybus 50 has always struggled with. This is in part due to a relaxed timetable on the 15 as the buses never seem in any hurry but always manage to keep to time. The Citybus 50 also has to pass along the Embankment which has major roadworks so its no wonder that they get delayed. The trouble is no one expects it to survive for long. Many people wonder if First will just sell up the whole of the Devon and Cornwall operation. I cant see them doing that myself, but if the alternative is for the network to wither and die a lingering death by more and more cuts, then I can only hope I am wrong.

We continue to invest in providing easy access buses throughout our network, with some additional easy access buses entering service during Autumn 2009. We are introducing some new bus services in Plymouth from 11 October 2009 and more details about these new services will be published on our website nearer the time.

FDC Home page today - tomorrow I will show you where many of those buses have gone...

SE Bus Scene: Southampton - Hamble Route 16
Omnibuses: Directory Enquiries
Transport of delight: French Invasion


  1. First have got to have given up on Plymouth altogether I would say, the 7 I can see why but the 11 is quote 'one of the fastest growing routes in the UK' so either thet are about to pull out if devon and Cornwall altogether or they have struck some kind of deal with Citybus..I wouldnt be surprised to see Citybus lauch routes to Woolwell soon, and i expect ugo 12 and 15 to be cancelled soon, wot a shame, surely they be better off selling it than just running it down to nothing. I am sure Stagecoach would love to run Plymouth services and take on Go Ajead!!!

  2. I live on the 11 route and the fast growing comment is not borne out by personal observation. Most fare paying passengers get on the City Bus often letting the cunningly (just in front) timetabled 11 go on past. This is probably due to the more frequent, and evening, service and, to some extent, a degree of residual loaylty to PCB. The appallingly titled "Ugobus" mostly carries over 60s and fresh air. No axe to grind, just personal observation....

  3. I reckon by the end of this financial year! First will review its profit margins of First Devon & Cornwall services and realise its just not worth the effort!

    Plymouth was meant to be its most profitable area, I mean if it is that profitable why pull routes? The reason has to be that they are either breaking even or worse.

    I reckon the Woolwell route has never achieved its potential. If I had the money I would start a route running woolwell - Tesco - The George - Derriford (Pousland Dr) - Crownhill - Weston Park Rd (Peverll) - Mutley - City (Every 15 minutes).

    There is always the option that Western Greyhound may venture more on this side of the Tamar.

  4. re The comment about the 11 being one of the fastest growing routes in the UK - The more I think about it the more I am convinced that it referred to the previous 11 which served Derriford - Ham - Devonport rather than the current Ugobus 11.
    As to further cutbacks I think the cancelling of the 7 probably means the 15 is safer for now.

  5. no it is the current 11, there was a poster in the depot about it when it was anounced it was the fastest growing route

  6. Thanks for the confirmation!

    Seems so long ago now - how did they mess that one up then?


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