19 October 2010

Off and On

Without any warning Plymouth lost its Northern Connect Taxibus service yesterday morning. Then, without any warning, it got it back again!
There are a few of us that regularly catch the Taxi bus that arrives at Derriford about 8:10am. This morning it turned up as normal just after 8am off Asda when the driver informed us that this was to be the last run as all the drivers had to told to stop running at the end of the current journey. As far as they were concerned it was the end of the Northern Connect Taxi bus service. They had no idea why it was at such short notice.
I happened to be down at Crownhill at lunchtime for a spotting session with the camera and noticed that they seemed to be back on the road so I caught one back to Derriford. They drivers had received a further phone call later that morning telling them to get back to work as the service was back on!
Needless to say the drivers are as confused as the passengers are. Whether the news will get to some of the regular passengers for tomorrow morning remains to be seen as a couple of them have no alternative bus service at all so will really miss the service if and when it does come to an end.
Taxifast SF08BUV Northern Connect There is of course nothing on the Target Travel web site to say the service is stopping. Hopefully the drivers will be better informed as to what is happening during the course of this week.
the head teacher at Parc Eglos School in Cornwall splashed out on a 1983 doubler-decker Leyland Titan bus which he plans to convert into classrooms. Coachbroker
From 2012, all new buses and coaches will have to legally be driven during the daytime with their headlights turned on. Transport of Delight
Today, in a long planned event, RM5 and 1005 came together to work on route 9 between Royal Albert Hall and Aldwych. Leon Daniels
95 per cent of those who responded to a September Guardian Leeds poll answered “yes” to the question, “should Metro regulate Leeds’ buses?” Omnibuses
I can bring you the news (and photo) of Wilts and Dorset Optare Spectra HJ02 WDN, which has been at Plymouth Citybus for a refit. PTOTPA


  1. @Andrew
    Surely that wouldn't affect the service, given that Target Travel are currently running the route?

    This would be a major blow for a number of people. As a contracted-out Software Engineer, I rely on the Taxibus to get from George Junction to Estover Industrial Estate in the morning. With no alternate bus service it would mean an extra 30 minute walk every day.

    Also, have Taxifast officially ceased trading? Can't find any information on their (admittedly annoying) website.

  2. I had heard a rumour that Taxifast had gone bust - but didnt include in the post as there seems to be nothing to substantiate it.

    Target Travel are supposed to be operating it - and subcontract out to Taxifast, so I assume its Targets problem to sort out if it does all go wrong?

    Nothing offical seems to be out there at all on this.

  3. Taxifast have gone bust!

    Just seen the report on This is Plymouth.

    More later!

  4. I thought Target Travel were owned by John Preece and were a subsidiary of Taxifast?

  5. Apologies I have looked through Google and it appears that the Taxifast Group of Companies is J Preece and Target Travel is R Risk so I got that wrong! Probably not the best thing to have done in these sensitive times! Don’t know why I thought they were connected, sorry.

  6. The following two letters came from the Taxi Driver Online forum...

    Personal Statement to Staff and Drivers

    16th October 2010

    Dear colleague,
    It is with the deepest regret that I write to you to advise that I have no alternative but to cease the trading of Key Cabs Ltd and Taxifast Ltd as of midnight 16th October 2010. I am forced into this course of action following the banks inappropriate recent behaviour. My first priority must be to safeguard your jobs of nearly 300 drivers and 50 employees.

    You now have the opportunity of being employed with Taxifirst Ltd at 41 a Mutley Plain, which is under the ownership of David Trace, Customer contracts are safeguarded so there should be no deterioration in workload and no redundancies.

    At 68 I was of course retired, in any event I had not played a part in the running of Taxifast for a considerable time. I have now launched a personal £10 million lawsuit against the bank and it's factoring arm. I still reside in Portugal and intend to continue to do so. After 45 years in business I gained much expertise, which I will now put to good use in my litigation with Lloyds TSB Bank Pic and it's co-conspirators.

    I have obtained a web site that should be open in a few days where you may seek news, "fightingthebank.org", and my email address will be "mail@iohnpreece.org", I will be pleased to hear from you and discuss any points you want to raise.

    In the meantime it is in your interests to earn a living and keep your lives stable. I have every confidence that Dave Trace will provide you with a secure future and employment during these difficult times of recession. Please accept my personal apology to each and every one of you that this situation has arisen, albeit outside of my control.

    I wish you every success for the future. Kindest regards

    John Preece


    Date As Postmark

    Dear Sir or Madam -
    Re: Taxffirst Limited Brief Statement

    Sadly, due to all the rumours and scaremongering in and around Plymouth over the last few days, while we have been mailing our backup caff centre, we have had a lot of drivers in complaining about the uncertainty within the company and drivers leaving. This was seeping through to our customer base and contracts. I have taken the necessary steps to protect the workforce of 48 PAYE workers and 300 self-employed drivers as follows:

    This is to inform you that Taxifast Ltd / Key Cabs Ltd has ceased trading.

    Drivers Rent will be £172.80 inclusive of VAT which must be paid into the office by 13:00 hours every Monday.

    There will be NO RENT FREE DRIVERS; everyone working for the company will be on a level playing field. Fairness for all.

    New ties or epilates will be provided to all drivers to wear with your white shirt black trousers and black polished shoes, as uniform to the company is a must.

    Please note the new address, I will be operating the company from 41A Mutley Plain, Plymouth, PL4 6JQ. Everyone is to hold a school badge. Dockyard passes are still very useful.

    Rent - Drivers office rent is fixed for 3 YEARS - HO INCREASE.

    Christmas - drivers will not pay any extra rent at Christmas or New Year.

    Holidays - 4 WEEKS RENT FREE, WORK IF YOU WISH. You may wish to use your 4 weeks rent-free for holidays, plating your vehicle or family reasons.

    May I thank you in anticipation for your support and in return I will endeavour to support you. To ail of you I offer my best wishes for the future as the company grows, good luck.

    Yours most respectfully,

    David Trace

  7. Some interesting info on the Taxi Driver Online forum at:


  8. @Andrew - That explains why I saw so many TaxiFast cabs still out and about today. So they've all been transferred over to this new TaxiFirst company?

  9. I thinks its pretty much business as usual now for most Taxifast staff, just working for TaxiFirst instead.


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