28 March 2013

Ssshhh dont tell anyone but…

The Sunday service from Wembury City – Burrator is back from this weekend but keep it to yourself…

First Devon & Cornwall are using their Facebook page to remind passengers of their new timetables from tomorrow:

Happy double bank holiday weekend! Just a reminder we'll be running Sunday timetables across Devon and Cornwall tomorrow and Monday. To view them please click here: http://m.firstgroup.com/ukbus/devon_cornwall/route_list
Plus! Don't forget we haves service changes from tomorrow on:
Plymouth & South Devon/East Cornwall: 2,4,6,7,15, 33/33A, X80, X81, 83/84/86 and 93.
Cornwall: 10/10A/10B, 17/17B, 300 and 500.
To view details please click here:

There is however one omission from their list as service 48 also sees a new timetable as a comment left on a recent blog post points out…

From tomorrow (as was commented upon recently) Wembury will once again have a Sunday and Public Holidays bus service, extended as previously to Burrator. This is excellent news and many personal thanks to First D&C and the Council’s involved. What strikes me is that this service (apart from an early morning bus, which is not needed) will almost be better than the Monday to Saturday service. What I have also noticed is that around Goosewell and Staddiscombe the 48 will cover a part of the First no 6 and Citybus no 5 and 5A routes. This seems an excellent idea as I have often thought that extending some of these services (say every hour) out to Wembury would be the most cost effective way of providing a service to the community. After all it is only a 5 mile or so round trip from the Plymouth City boundary at Crossroads Garage, or less than a gallon of fuel, so well done to First for this new initiative and once again many thanks.

Forthcoming Timetables   Devon   Cornwall   FirstGroup plc.
Its a shame that First are not promoting this reinstated Sunday service at all. Apart from being available on their forthcoming timetables they dont mention this on their site at all, instead leaving the City Council to explain on their web site

Plymouth City Council is pleased to announce the introduction of a new bus service linking Wembury, the city centre and Dartmoor National Park starting from Good Friday (Friday 29 March). Using funding from a housing development near Staddiscombe the Council has been able to extend the existing service 48 (which currently runs between the city centre and Wembury from Monday to Saturday) to include Sundays and Bank Holidays, when it will also serve Burrator Reservoir.

The new Sunday and Bank Holiday service, operated by First Devon and Cornwall, will run from Wembury, calling at Plymstock and Royal Parade before heading to Yelverton, Buckland Abbey and then terminating at Burrator Reservoir.

The link to Dartmoor existed up until 2011 but was removed as part of a re-evaluation of Devon County Council's subsidised bus network. Plymouth City Council received a number of complaints from residents who highly valued the service but was unable to intervene at the time as its subsidised bus service budget was already fully committed. The use of developer funding has been an innovative way of reintroducing the service.

Councillor Mark Coker, Cabinet Member for Transport, said: "We are pleased to be able to provide this cross boundary service, linking residents with the coast and moors. The service 48 will provide an environmentally friendly way for residents to enjoy day trips and see the stunning sights these destinations offer - including some of the Dartmoor locations used in the filming of Steven Spielberg's 2011 blockbuster War Horse. We will be working with First Devon and Cornwall, Dartmoor National Park and the South West Coast Path Association to encourage as many people as possible to use the service."

Buses towards Wembury will leave Royal Parade at 9.19am, 10.49am, 12.19pm, 1.49pm, 3.19pm, 4.49pm and 6.19pm.

Buses towards Buckland Abbey and Burrator will leave Royal Parade at 9.04am, 10.34am, 12.04pm, 1.34pm, 3.04pm and 4.34pm.

Plymouth City Council

First are keen to promote a very useful saving over the Easter holidays though:

Don't forget our special reduced price £10 family ticket offer starts tomorrow. The FirstDay South West Family ticket will be reduced to £10 from 24 March to 14 April and can be used by up to 5 people travelling at the same time (max 2 adults) That's a day's unlimited travel on all our buses in Devon and most in Cornwall (excludes the 300 when it starts from 29 March) from as little as £2.50 each! Buy yours from your driver.

Happy Easter from me too!

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  1. Going back a few years to when I lived by Laira Bridge, there always were a few journeys that left the city following the 5 route, and then followed the 48 route to Wembury. I particularly remebebr the last journey off town, the 23:05, which according to the 5 timetable was a 5, extended to Wembury, but according to the 48 timetable was a 48, but running via the 5 route through Plymstock...

  2. The Wembury 48 is a service that for some reason, historically First (and probably prior to that Badgerline and other previous owners) seemed to have problems operating. Having said that the present Devon County Council sponsored Monday to Saturday service appears to me to be very reliable and well operated by First.
    Going back to the past, whilst there were early morning and late evening buses, with an hourly daytime service, it suffered dreadfully from poor reliability. It was not unusual for several services to be cancelled leading to a significant wait for a bus to turn up both in Wembury and on Royal Parade. My understanding at the time was that the 48 was often used as an “infill” from other scheduled services coming in from places such as Ivybridge and Tavistock. This meant that if these services were delayed it was not possible for their scheduled journey out to Wembury to run. I have also been told that it was not unusual for the bus from Tavistock to run out of fuel on the way to Wembury, due to it having not been refuelled at Tavistock overnight. The problem of course was at this time the service was so unreliable that customers simply stopped using the service and found alternative means of transport. Anyway it is great news that this service is now receiving some financial support and let’s hopes it gets better advertised and of course most importantly patronised.

  3. Unfortunately there is not a sufficient non car owning population in Wembury to support a regular bus service. In the days of Plymouth City Transport in the 70s, 80s and 90s there was a regular service until a 2300 at night from the City. With the explosion of car ownership the route's patronage slowly melted away. (long before the days of FDC's couldn't care less attitude). The 48 will always share some route through Plymstock as there are only so many ways to get to Crossroads Garage to pick up the Wembury Road.
    The 49 service to Heybrook Bay has now dwindled to just a few trips a day all supported by DCC. The closure of the gunnery school at Wembury Point saw the death knell for this service.
    Now if there was a suitable coastal road link between Heybrook Bay and Wembury a canny operator might try a circular service encompassing all the conurbations. This just might have a chance.
    However, dear reader getting such a road built is as likely as getting a bridge built to Drake's Island.
    Now if South Hams were to allow housing to develop along the Wembury Road - who knows.

    1. “Now if South Hams were to allow housing to develop along the Wembury Road - who knows” This area would probably need to be included within the Plymouth City boundary for that to happen?

  4. Some very good valid points by persons above. However is it not the case that to be a good service it needs frequency and reliability. Hate to say it but I just don't think First are able to deliver this combination! I don't support one company over another in Plymouth but look at Ugobus - all withdrawn except 15 that actually replaced service 7 if we are all honest. Citybus even under private ownership provide a reliable service. First need to sort their own ship out, evening services and reliability is their downfall.

    1. I agree that good service needs frequency and reliability but it does not take away the main message from BG - that Wembury just cant support a service without a contribution from the council, which it has managed to do this time using money from the developers.

  5. Until recent years Wembury had an hourly service from the City Centre with 2 or 3 evening journeys. The last journey of the day operating by request onto Staddiscombe, Down Thomas, Heybrook Bay and Wembury Point. However even back in the 1980's the 48 wasn't exactly fully loaded! Plymouth Citybus gave the route up in the 1990's and i can recall a lack of viability of the route being cited back then. Western National and then First kept the route ticking along without many changes until they had to cut it back 3-4 years ago.

    The new Sunday service is a welcome improvement and surely the focus has to be getting people out from the City to the beaches and coast path of Wembury and of course to Dartmoor at Burrator. There is great potential for Sunday bus networks for leisure, the vehicles are available it only needs useful services along with the publicity to make these services work.

  6. The new Sunday service is an extremely welcome improvement - bit of a surprise but a very pleasing one!

    This really is a proper cross-city service, and one that I hope proves to be worth the funding. Saw one of the SN05 mini-darts on it yesterday afternoon.


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