02 January 2012

Predictions for 2011 in 2010

Its that time of year when I like to make a few predictions as to what we can expect over the coming twelve months, but first lets have a look back and see how I did last year…

Plymouth Citybus

1. New look for Plymouth Citybus. I am pretty sure this will happen in 2011!

It certainly did and it was well worth waiting for.

Plymouth Citybus 424 X558EGK

2. More second-hand buses for Citybus. Unless there is a major change of plans then this year will see quite an influx of buses. A batch of Dual Door Dennis Darts are coming from Go-Ahead London shortly and there are strong rumours of more low floor double deckers coming to see off the remaining Volvo Citybus fleet. There is still the chance that the fleet will gain some Mercedes Citaro 'bendy buses' too (but see prediction 4 below!)and the Citycoach fleet may also see a few internal transfers from elsewhere.

Well I was right to a point. There were second hand deckers but the Darts never materialised. The Citycoach fleet didn't get second hand coaches but it did get some nice new ones!

3. 2011 will see the end of step entrance Darts and the Mercedes 709 bread vans and the Volvo Citybus double deckers.

Almost there with this one. The Mercedes 709s have gone and there is just one step entrance Dart left for contract work. The Volvo double deckers still soldier on though.

4. The Mercedes Citaro bendy buses will NOT end up running in Plymouth. As far as I know nothing has been decided yet so it could well happen but I somehow think it unlikely. I would actually like to see a small fleet of these but I see Royal Parade as being a major issue when it comes to operating a fleet of these in Plymouth.

These are now turning up elsewhere within the Go Ahead Group, but not in Plymouth.
5. I think any route changes in 2011 will generally be small improvements to existing routes rather than any major cutting back. I can see the 26 being cut back a bit to something more sustainable as competition with First all but peters out but I expect to see Citybus remain in Plymstock.

Pretty much as I expected really although the 26 hasnt  been cut as I thought it might.


6. Sadly I can only see more cutbacks for First over the next twelve months. I am not convinced that the 12 will see the year out.

I was right about the 12. Minor changes over the last year have generally been cutbacks.
7. The Ugobus brand will all but disappear.

There are still a few Ugobuses out there so I cant really claim this one yet but its clearly no longer being marketed as such.
8. Tavistock routes will continue to change over the year while they try to improve the service. The Park and Ride routes will be run commercially by First (has this already started?) which means that First call the shots rather than the council. Expect reduced frequencies and other minor cutbacks and maybe fares increases. It would be nice to see the PR2 buses in the same Park and Ride livery, or possibly a brand new livery for the routes?

I think the Tavistock routes have generally remained the same. Fare are going up in 2012.
9. No new buses for First in Plymouth but we will see more low floor double deckers from London replace older Olympian double deckers.

I was right about not getting any new buses for First but we didn't get any additional low floor decker's either. All in all very quiet for the local First fleet in 2011.


10. Target will continue to run the routes that the other operators dont want, but with the council almost certainly cutting back on the routes it pays for they will see some reduction in service during the year. Taxibuses will disappear completely.

There have been changes to the Target routes but I dont think there has been any major reduction in their workload. They have started using very smart Volvo Olympian deckers on the 46/47 routes which has been an unexpected treat. Taxibuses are of course but a memory.

Odds and ends

11. There will be lots of talk about extra rail links to and from Plymouth, including the Tavistock line but not much will actually happen. You can pretty much guarantee this each year!

12. Plymouth City Council will continue to cut back on route subsidies.

To be fair nothing major has changed.
13. the Real Time system will all but be forgotten along with Plymgo

Well the Real time displays are still there and most of them still work but its not lived up to the promises we were given. I had all but forgotten about Plymgo so I must have a closer look at the state of play later in the month,
14. Pensioner free travel will cause major problems over the coming year as it appears bus operators will be expected to bear the brunt of cutbacks in funding. Industry experts are predicting rural routes coming under increased pressure as a result of this and other grant changes. I still see the Government making a few changes to the scheme over the coming year as it tries to reign in costs.

It is causing issues but we wont see the full effects of this until later in 2012…

Plymothian Transit

15. Plenty of photographs with the new camera! I do intend to get out and about in Plymouth and will be more organised and plan trips ahead to make the most of them.

Errr – plenty of new photos taken but as for being more organised and making more trips – well there is always 2012…


All in all I think I did pretty well in predicting 2011. Tomorrow I will take a look at 2012 to see what I think we can expect to see.

Related Links

Recommended Links

  • In this post we will be looking back at the main events reported here on Andy's Bus Blog (ABB) in May, June, July & August 2011 Andys Bus Blog
  • As the year draws to a close it is time to reflect on what has happened on the local bus scene during 2011. East Norfolk Bus Blog
  • One of the treats of the Festive Season is that many heritage railways rise from their slumber, initially to entertain children with their popular and lucrative 'Santa Specials' then to offer a chance to enjoy transport heritage in mid-winter from Boxing Day to New Year Transport Illustrated
  • Here’s a picture that accompanied the Express’ account of the on-very-much-off ADL interest in Optare Omnibuses
  • Travel South Yorkshire [TSY] does provide a telling commentary on what ought to be done to make things better. So here are some New Year Resolutions:- Public Transport Experience
  • How could I start the new year any other way than remembering back to the Friends of King Alfred Buses rally of yesteryear. I write this before the actual day, so am not sure whether I actually made it to 2012's rally, but time will tell! Southern England Bus Scene


  1. Differene subject I know but does anyone know if you need a photo for Citybus bus passes nowadays???

  2. I do believe that you are right in saying First now run the P&R commercially, I think it started sometime in the summer.

  3. How much hsve First fares increased by, Saltash - City Center??

  4. I think if you want return fare ...First Day is best at £3.40. I believe if you can get them Western Greyhound are a lot cheaper for singles!!!

  5. Wrt the first comment you do need to supply your photo for a key card if you're under 18.

    And it seems to be common knowledge that Western Greyhound and Target Travel are a lot cheaper than PCB and First. The Western Greyhound 576 is always fairly busy when I see it, it genuinely is nice to see one of the smaller companies doing well.

  6. Western Greyhound have a fare increase this Sunday, making Citybus cheap I'm afraid Tom. Even in Salt ash.

  7. It's funny but First are a lot cheaper where I live in Plymouth than Citybus even after their price increase this week!!

    Citybus never quoted government cuts when they increased their fares last year..only operating costs... so possibly another increase later this year I feel???


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