19 February 2011

Citybus cutting their losses - and the 46/47

Rising operating costs and pressure on government funding for bus services has forced management at Plymouth Citybus to announce changes during April to some long term loss making services. This is frustrating for all at the bus operation that saw a 9% increase in passengers in 2010. Andrew Wickham, Managing Director at Plymouth Citybus, said that if they are to preserve the jobs of the 340 drivers and the long term future of the network, some routes changes must be made.

Plymouth Citybus 210 VU52UEEServices 45 and 20 - From the 3rd April, the service 45 which runs from Cattedown to the city centre and the section of service 20 between Mudge Way and Amados Drive in Plympton will be withdrawn. The main part of the 20, between Mudge Way, Woodford and the city centre, will continue with no changes.


Plymouth Citybus 107 K107SFJServices 46 and 47 - From the 24th April two more routes will be cut completely. These are the service 46 and the service 47 which currently provide an every 30 minute service circular route around the outer areas of Plymouth. The southern part of the 46/47 routes will be replaced by a new service 27. This will run from Deer Park – Mutley – City Centre – Stoke – Devonport – Torpoint Ferry Terminal, every half hour Monday – Saturday. The 47 Sunday service between Deer Park and City Centre will run unchanged but will be renumbered as part of the new 27 service.

Andrew Wickham said that even though around 5% of their passengers use the 45, 46 and 47 services, last year the routes ran at a loss of £250,000.
“We expect that most people who travel on the northern part of the 46 and 47 circle will use the extensive services that often run on the same route or are within walking distance. The new 27 service will provide a more reliable service for those who use the southern part of the 46 and 47 circle,” said Andrew Wickham.“There is no reason why our competitors cannot take up the challenge of running the routes, but we feel there is nothing we can do to make them viable, especially with the economic challenges we face. Most bus operators across the UK are being forced to plan cuts in service. Thankfully, Plymouth City Council’s decision to minimise the reduction in concessionary fares funding has reduced the threat to services, and had the council not done this, many more services would have been lost with no replacement. We are determined to maximise the resources we have in terms of personnel and our bus fleet and encourage continued passenger growth,” said Andrew Wickham. “We have no plans to make redundancies, although driver recruitment will now be put on hold.”

Plymouth Citybus 205 WA03BJFService 42 - From the 24th April existing bus service 42 will continue to operate every 30 minutes, but is to be withdrawn from Leatfield drive and will run via Southway between Tamerton Foliot, Derriford Hospital and the City Centre on the current Sunday service route. This will ensure that the link from Southway and the Hospital will be maintained. The timetable for the 42 will altered to improve reliability.

Plymouth Citybus 174 G640CHFServices 40, 40D, 41 and 41D - From the 24th April the changes made to the 42 service route to include the hospital will allow the company to simplify and enhance the services 40, 40D, 41 and 41D. The 40D and 41D services will be replaced by the 40 or 41 journeys, and will take a faster route direct between Southway and the City with a combined frequency of up to every 10 minutes for most of the day. Evening and Sundays services remain unchanged.

Services 46S and 47S - The School day only services 46S and 47S are to be withdrawn at the end of the summer term. The current School Service 46S that departs 3.45pm from Devonport High School for Girls to Derriford is to operate from September 2011 as the service 116.
I think its fair to say that its the cancellation of the 46 47 that has attracted the most comments and is going to become the most controversial change this time round. It is clear that Citybus have been struggling with this service as it has been changed frequently over the last year or so. It also seems to suffer a lot with time keeping issues at the moment. The trouble is this service provides a lot of useful links around the city which will now prove impossible without changing buses.

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1 comment:

  1. Most of these services weren't well used anyway. I can't see any other operator taking over the old 46/47 route..First aren't going to run a loss making route.

    What bus serves Austin Farm estate now then???

    What will be the next routes to get cut??? My bet would be the new 26 and possibly the 43A to Saltash, as I think First have probably won the battle here!!


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