26 October 2013

A Fitting Final Fling for First

I wasn't going to post today, but just seen this shot from Nick which just has to have a wider audience! I will use his caption as it sums up why its such a special shot...
It just had to happen, didn't it?!
©Nick Rice
Last day of the X80 it just had to have 34003 rostered for the duty, got a nice wave from the driver too. Also good to see it working something other than the Dartmouth Academy service. 20 years earlier if you search 'K803ORL' on Flickr you will find this very bus working this route when brand new as 1803 with Western National. From an enthusiast point of view a very fitting choice of vehicle. this was the Saturday & School holiday only 08:45 off Plymouth.

Although from a passenger point of view the new Stagecoach Gold is a welcome treat after years of First just running the X80 in autopilot mode, it is sad to see the end of the X80. As Nick points out, these buses were a real treat when they were introduced on the X80 brand new and have always been very comfortable buses for a long route like this. Sadly it was the last time anything new was brought for the X80. We have yet to see how things pan out on the new GOLD service but I am pretty sure we wont be seeing any of the new Scania E400s still out on the route in 20 years time!


  1. I understand the very symbolic nature of running this bus on the last day and its nice to see but the state of that bus sums up all that is wrong with First. As for First Tavistock and the like...smacks of last ditch desperation. Great they are finally trying to care but why should any of their passengers support them after years of seeing First run their services into the ground with old buses, high fares and poor reliability. Too little too late.

    1. I agree that First do have quite an old fleet compared to many other major companies. It does also look rather tatty, but from a passenger comfort point of view, this bus is far better to ride on than many buses that are 10+ years newer, as this bus has far superior seating.

  2. Nice gesture by First but lick of paint upper deck top window and a good wash would have made it more symbolic.Enviros on P&R/Tavistock apart the whole Plymouth fleet needs refurbishment or replacing,if First meant business with Citybus why wait three weeks to switch the Enviros onto the Tavistock route?.

  3. For the record, WA56FTV (42946) operated the Final X81, and X80 service to/from Totnes/Plymouth.


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