12 December 2012

Christmas Services in Plymouth

Christmas is getting closer so the bus companies are letting people know what they will be running over the holiday period.

First Devon & Cornwall (Devon side – see HERE for Cornwall services)

  • Christmas Eve (Monday 24 December) Saturday service (except ugo services 2, 3 & 15 and services 83/84/86 & 90/90A which will have special timetables). Most last journeys will be at approx 20:00.
  • Christmas Day (Tuesday 25 December) No service.
  • Boxing Day (Wednesday 26 December) No service.
  • Thursday 27, Friday 28 & Saturday 29 December Saturday service (except ugo services 2, 3 & 15 services 83/84/86 & 90/90A which will have special timetables).
  • Sunday 30 December  Normal Sunday service.
  • New Years Eve (Monday 31 December) Saturday service (except ugo services 2, 3 & 15 and services 83/84/86 & 90/90A which will have special timetables). Most last journeys will be at approx 20:00.
  • New Years Day (Tuesday 1 January) No service.
  • Wednesday 2, Thursday 3, Friday 4 & Saturday 5 January Saturday service (except ugo services 2, 3 & 15 services 83/84/86 & 90/90A which will have special timetables).

The Special Timetables mentioned above can be found HERE (pdf)

Target Travel are operating a normal service apart from Christmas Day, Boxing Day and New Years Day (no service)

Plymouth Citybus have released details of their Christmas services:

  • MONDAY 24TH DECEMBER = EARLY TERMINATION (see HERE for last buses off Royal Parade)

The only real surprise is the New Years Day services to see in the New Year. Generally buses leave Royal Parade at 00:30, 01:30 and 02:30 (apart from the 23 which departs 01:05 02:05 and 03:05)

5 = City Centre - Plymstock

8 = City centre - Laira - Efford

16 = City centre - King's Tamerton

21 = City Centre - Plympton

23 = City Centre - Mount Gould (departs RP at 0105, 0205 and 0305)

26 = City Centre - Barne Barton

28 = City Centre - Crownhill

41 = City Centre - Southway

43 = City Centre - Ernesettle

44 = City Centre - Whitleigh

50 = City Centre - Leigham - Derriford

61 = City Centre - Honicknowle Green

    All services will have security staff present. Tickets will be just £2 single and all City bus and other Plymouth operators' day and season tickets will be accepted.

    Full timetables can be found HERE

    This is a great idea and one that I really hope is well used. I presume that double deckers will be used as they could get very busy. I certainly hope so as it will encourage future provision of such services.

    Of course Plymouth has seen ‘night buses’ before – as we will see on tomorrows blog post…

    Plymothian Transit Recommends

    • fbb assumes that the delay at Victoria was to do with a legally enforced break for his driver after a late arrival on his previous trip. So why wasn't there a National Express minion deputed to check tickets and load luggage so the scheduled driver could leave on time at 1830? Public Transport Experience


    1. The buses in the early hours of New Year's Day look good, I think millennium night 2000 is the only time this has been tried before by PCB.

      What has been interesting in recent years are the evening withdraws on Christmas Eve and New Years Eve. Surely these are 2 nights when there are more people out and about than the average Friday or Saturday night. Yet more and more operators are choosing to shut down at around 8pm. Are operators stopping services to give all drivers a break or is there not much money to be made on these nights?

    2. 27th December a normal Monday to Friday service... THANK YOU PCB!

    3. I think the Christmas/New Years Eve shutdowns are to give drivers a break,,, I am sure they have families too, who they want to be with for Xmas etc!!! And no I am not a driver either!!

    4. Historically there was little or no passenger usage of buses on Christmas Eve after the shops closed and the staff went home. I think you only need to look at how shops and even the big supermarkets become really quiet on Christmas Eve in the afternoon. Operators have used this as an opportunity to allow staff to get away to spend a little more time with their families over the holiday season. Evening services have been curtailed on New Year's Eve as buses have reached the end of the normal timetable and are in the main back in the depot before the festivities start at midnight. Are things changing? Who knows. It will be interesting to see the results of this year's experiment sponsored by the City Council. Graham is blogging about previous attempts to operate late buses at weekends so I won't spoil his post but these trials (of which there were a few) were withdrawn quite quickly due to anti-social behaviour on the buses, assaults on staff, vandalism and the difficulty in providing suitable security. I doubt that this comes as a surprise to readers.

    5. It certainly comes as no surprise to me. There certainly is a balance between providing a service and keeping on good terms with drivers trade unions with giving drivers adequate rest time over Christmas.

      With regards to vandalism etc, could I possibly make a suggestion to use the yellow Volvo 'Student Link' Double Deckers? Seeing as they do school runs everyday and they're all still going strong, coupled with a high seating capacity, could these be a possibility?

    6. Very crafty move by Citybus who'll now be operating in direct competition on Saltash services in the evenings.

      Unsure how loyal Citybus Saltash customers will react to these changes, as the staggered departure times of the 43A from Royal Parade made it competitive for workers, against First buses clockface timetable.

    7. No doubt I'll get some stick for this but I'm amazed that in 2012, neither operator is still not running any services at all on Boxing Day, on what is now one of the biggest shopping days of the year. All the people working in the shops etc have to rely on friends/families/taxis to get them into work and home again, let alone everyone who wants to hit the sales.
      I know Plymouth isn't unique in this and that other local operators (e.g. Stagecoach Devon) do exactly the same.
      However, Citybus's sister company Brighton & Hove has run comprehensive special timetables on all key routes on Boxing Day for many years. They also run a full Sunday service on New Year's Day. Oh, and the early finish on Xmas Eve and NYE isn't until 10pm.
      In terms of population, Plymouth and Brighton/Hove are very similar.
      Elsewhere in Go-Ahead, Oxford Bus Co & Metrobus are also running on Boxing Day and NYD, plus Metrobus even has service 10 in Crawley running on Christmas Day.
      Perhaps it would be worth someone at Citybus having a word with a colleague at B&H, COMS or Metrobus?

    8. Southern Vectis also a part of GoAhead run every day of the year. For example Christmas Eve will have a normal Monday to Friday service right to the end of the night. Boxing Day and New Years Day a normal Sunday service. On Christmas Day they run an equivalent of the Friday/ Saturday night bus routes.

      So this year it will be

      1 Newport to Cowes
      3 Newport - Ventnor - Shanklin - Sandown - Ryde
      5 Newport - East Cowes
      7 Newport - Yarmouth - Freshwater - Totland
      9 Newport - Ryde

      All running hourly from early to late.

    9. We were asked to consider a Boxing Day service this year possibly supported by the City Council or the City Centre Company, (so supported by the traders in effect). Current agreements require volunteers for such work and whilst we did had some staff come forward there were not enough to operate even a main roads only service. (Remember you need engineering support and supervision, not just drivers in order to operate). Is there a call for buses on Boxing Day in Plymouth? There probably is. Unfortunately with the continuing commercialisation of the Christmas holiday period how long will it be before shops open on Christmas Day and buses are demanded? Shop workers get almost no holiday as it is. The argument that we should operate buses in Plymouth because sister Companies operate services on Boxing Day is strange. I suspect that the cost of operating buses on Boxing Day outweighs the revenue generated several times over. Unless there is considerable financial support I think it unlikely at the moment that we will see commercially operated Boxing Day buses in Plymouth.

      1. The full Sunday timetable operation on Boxing Day on the Isle of Wight takes more money than any other Sunday in the Winter, even those leading up to Christmas and a full weekday service on New Years Eve needed duplicates on many journeys after midnight. Both are very busy days if you run a comprehensive operation. So there is no financial argument for not doing either.


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