16 October 2013

Cross City

We mentioned a few days ago the recent VOSA notice from Plymouth Citybus regarding the 5 5A:

PH0000135/94 - PLYMOUTH CITYBUS LTD, MILEHOUSE, MILEHOUSE ROAD, PLYMOUTH, PL3 4AA Variation Accepted: Operating between Saltash, Oaklands Green and Eldburton, Blackstone Close given service number 5/5A effective from 01-Dec-2013. To amend Route and Timetable.

PH0000135/77 - PLYMOUTH CITYBUS LTD, MILEHOUSE, MILEHOUSE ROAD, PLYMOUTH, PL3 4AA Cancellation Accepted: Operating between PLYMOUTH ROYAL PARADE and PLYMOUTH ROYAL PARADE given service number 43A effective from 01-Dec-2013.

We now have the official announcement:

December 1st will see the launch of Plymouth Citybus’ second cross city link operating between Saltash and Plymstock. The new route, which will be named the 5 and 5A will run up to every 10 minutes between Plymstock Fire Station and Saltash Oaklands Drive, via the City Centre.

Saltash will not only benefit from increased Monday to Saturday daytime frequency but also an up to every 30 minutes service Monday to Saturday evenings and Sundays. At Oaklands Drive the 5 will operate clockwise around Latchbrook, with the 5A running anti clockwise around the same route, so every bus stop will be served.

In Plymstock both services will run a new route direct via Pomphlett Road to the fire station where the 5 will now operate via Dolphin Court and Stanbourgh continuing on its current route to Elburton and Staddiscombe. The the 5A will operate via Goosewell Road and continue to Holmwood and Staddiscombe on its current route.

Managing Director Richard Stevens said “We are delighted to introduce a new cross city link. This follows on from the success of our 21/21A cross city service, launched earlier in the year. The new service will give an increased frequency in Saltash, whilst at the same time offer direct access to facilities such as the life centre and the train station from Plymstock”.

Operating from 4th November Plymouth Citybus has also announced that it has managed to make an amendment to its new 103 school service, which will now allow the bus to serve DHS boys school from Plympton. The revised service will now serve Plymouth High, DHS Boys, DHS Girls, St Boniface and Notre Dame School. Full timetables and route maps are available here

[Archived copy pdf]


  1. So people at Billacombe Road are being abandoned by Citybus now. They are starting to make a habit of doing this in parts of the city.

    1. to be fair its not just Citybus - Barne Barton, Mount Gould, Mainstone - all abandoned by First.

    2. the problem for Citybus though, is that their overall objective. They clearly want First out, and to have a monopoly of the City. First have signalled that they don't have that as an objective, instead looking like they are more happy to retain and develop individual profitable routes. If Citybus want to be the monopoly bus operator, then that is why they have a greater responsibility to providing a comprehensive network. If they don't want any competition, and are using their muscle to stop any, then surely they have a wider responsibility?

  2. Lots of unhappy punters in Plymstock. The only way they will be able to combat delays is to knock out an extra bus or two during the rush hour that can pick up the timetable in the city centre, while the late runner behind operates as the next service 20 minutes later

    1. Yeah but they wont have extra buses i would say. Citybus seem to be barking up the wrong tree here.. they are pulling out of large areas of Plymstock to compete more in Saltash. First offer as good as Citybus new services in Saltash for cheaper so will hold out here.. at the same time Citybus will loose lots of customers in Plymstock as there will be large chunks not served and also Ctybus are removing the parts that was popular on the 5/5a. OWN GOAL.

  3. I don't live on this route but it does seem very odd. By concentrating the route through Plymstock on a single corridor they are significantly decreasing their coverage, for the benefit of what exactly? The people who live on the corridor will get a great bus service, but the people who don't may stop being customers.

    1. Could it be so that Citybus 5 and 5A will serve the same bus stops at the Broadway as the First 2 does. They may be hoping to "scoop up" more of First's Plymstock customers by bringing in this route change ?

  4. I don’t want to be too pessimistic or as was described on another bus blog “a Mr Glum” but why oh why do the bus operators keep on messing around with bus routes through Plymstock? First did this and eventually pretty well destroyed their services to Elburton and Staddiscombe. Plymouth City bus stepped in and said that in response to First’s actions they were introducing their 5 and 5A, which mirrored the old First 5 and 6 routes. Now First have decided to withdraw from these areas Plymouth City Bus are changing their route and beginning to behave like First Group and just look where this seems to have got them. Let’s just hope I am wrong and that these changes will be a success and most of all reliable!

  5. I can understand Citybus wanting to use Pomphlett Road as opposed to going through Oreston, the road is straighter and quicker, however, is there so little Oreston use to warrant the change on 5 and 5A?
    There other thing I don't understand is why both operators have neglected the bus stop at the end of Lands Park (opposite Plymstock Library). This bus stop is very well used all day, and users who were getting 5, 6, 7, regulary and 93 and 48 will be reduced to a half hourly 93 and bi-hourly 48. Prehaps it would make better sense for Citybus to route the 5 up Pomphlett Road, then down past the Broadway, to Lands Park, up to Dunstone Drive and continue was suggested and then return to Pomphlett Road via Goosewell and the Fire Station, and to send the 5A via Pomphlett Road, Dean Cross Road, Fire Station, Goosewell as suggested and return via Stanborough Road to the Broadway and collect from the busy bus stop by the Coop and return down Pomphlett Road. I would have thought there is more custom from Lands Park and the Broadway Coop (especially with First pulling out) than from Dunstone Drive.
    Billacombe Road, Stentaway Road and Church Road are left with no bus service, although Church Road is only busy at school in and out in term time, Stentaway and Billicombe would are easy custom with only one operator.
    Prehaps there is call to keep the 5 as is and send the 5A up Pomphlett and run the loop that way.
    The 14 is coming in, but again is shown to serve Dean Cross Road and the Fire Station and not Lands Park/Broadway Coop.
    We know firsts 5/6 plymstock saltash didnt work, credit to citybus they can make it work, but there are two busy bridges involved, a busy trunk road on A379 more traffic on the way with the proposed sherford development. However - if Sherford comes about (unsure of the timing) but a new service linking Sherford to town via Billacombe might make sense.
    Oreston and Mount Batten would be left with no bus service of First are pulled from the city in the long run, as things stand.


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