06 December 2013


A few days ago there was an interesting entry on VOSA:

4 December 2013



  • Starting Point: Plymouth Rail Station
  • Finish Point: Plymouth Rail Station
  • Via: City centre, West Hoe
  • Service Number: 777
  • Service Type: Normal Stopping
  • Effective Date: 29-JAN-2014
  • Other Details: 29 to 31 January 2014 only.

There has been some speculation that this is a new competitive route against Plymouth Citybus service 25 but I am pretty sure its a lot less exciting than that! The Other Details line points out that the service is only running for three days so is almost certainly linked to some sort of event rather than a general new route, unless of course VOSA is wrong on the date range. Having said that I cannot see anything obvious happening over that date period?

Yesterday saw another VOSA entry which is probably more significant:

5 December 2013


Operating between Tavistock Bus Station and Plymouth Royal Parade given service number 83/83A/84/86/86A effective from 05-Jan-2014. To amend Timetable

As always it remains to be seen exactly what these changes will be – I am sure it wont be long before details get posted by First as they are usually pretty quick with these now.


  1. Isnt that a little short notice on changes to 83.86 etc, no 56 days ?? or is this just reverting to normal timetable after Christmas? If there are changes lets hope for an hourly daytime 86, Tavistock - Plymouth via Derriford/Mutley to compliment the 83.

    1. There is often a delay between when VOSA receive the application and it getting on to their website, It wont be just for the end of the Christmas timetable as otherwise every route in the country would have to be posted up in this way! I do agree with you that an hourly 86 would be a good idea!

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    3. The Tavistock change does say ‘Variation Accepted by Short Notice’, so they’ve obviously begged, or fulfilled whatever criteria VOSA requires for it to go through on fewer than the 56 days.

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  3. Just googled the dates on the 777 application - it looks like it's a special shuttle service for the Consecration of the GOD TV Revival Prayer Centre - see http://www.god.tv/plymouth/event/travel

  4. It is possible that the 777 is for the God tv weekend event taking place on 29th to 31st January. On their website it says 'God tv will provide a free shuttle service between your hotel and the venue for the duration of the event' - there is a consecration of a building apparently, and it is nice ot show any visitor views of the hoe and plymouth sound, and I guess the route will take in most of the probably hotels. Biblically, 7 is said to be the number of completion and 6 is short of completion, so 777 makes sense (the three 7's presumably are Father, Son and Holy Ghost), and 666 is considered the devils number. Only a theory but this would explain why it is a three day only service and why that is the service number.

  5. I realise that this comment is not directly in context with today’s posting. I would, if you don’t mind, like to mention a problem that has occurred today with the Sunday First 48 service between Plymouth and Wembury. There are currently two timetables shown on the First Devon and Cornwall website. One timetable is dated 31/3/13 to 4/1/14 and this shows a 16.49 and 18.19 departure from Royal Parade. A second timetable is dated 3/11/13 and this omits these departures, but does not state that it supersedes the other timetable. This has resulted in a visitor waiting, today, for the 18.19 Royal Parade departure, which did not run.

  6. 83/84/86 changes on line now... Changes are to evening and sunday journets, now alternate each hour 83 then 86, so 2 hourly via Outland Road and 2 hourly via Mutley. It appears that West Devon Council have stopped funding the Sunday services and are now funding Evening ones instead hence the change (probably because of Citybus 12 providing a service all be it a rubbish one of every 2 hours on a Sunday now. Yet again Citybus have messed up what was a perfectly good service here because of their greed.. We were better off with just First, the old timetable had worked great for years. If you are reading this at Go Ahead thanks a bunch. Please just leave Plymouth and let a decent operator run services, you can not even get the Plymouth ones right let alone outside of the city.

  7. err plymouth citybus have been in plymouth since 1872! we aint going anywhere!

    1. Ah now there is at last a true comment from PCB. Having had the mis fortune of travelling on your services, I can say 'going nowhere' is just about right. I am one of the many who have swapped to First in recent months, and what a breath of fresh air, services that turn up when they should, not in groups of 6, no pointless cross city routes that no one wants except the company and friendly staff who say 'good morning' etc when you get on the bus. You at PCB should try it some time you may just get some happy customers for a change. Oh not to mention your rip off high fares.

  8. I fail to understand this whole issue of one companies drivers are better than the others. Plymouth as a whole has a good set of bus drivers operating for all the companies. There are a few less happy ones and occasionally you will get one on a bad day. Bus drivers are people. Just like in any walk of life you will get good ones and bad ones. the operator they work for makes no difference to how they are. There are some great drivers still working for First, and yes most of them are friendly and do say good morning. The same with Citybus. and Target Travel and Jacketts. and Western Greyhound and Stagecoach too.

  9. I have never had a rude or unhappy driver driving for Citybus, yes some are more talkative than others, but everyone has been polite, and have been for the years I have been using them. At School I did come across from not so nice drivers driver the school services provided by First (which were probably Western National at the time) but things have improved and most school runs have regular drivers who are happy doing school runs (for both companies I think).
    Yes First could do with some newer buses in the city, and the park and ride changes haven't been taken kindly by some, but they have some iconic/older buses on the road for longer which is good for enthusiasts.
    CityBus, powered by go-head have been able to inject new buses into the city, and with go-ahead behind them are able to fund more vehicles and routes than in council led days. If there was a problem with the registering of new routes such as 12 and 32, the competition commission and vosa would have said something. Sure fares are a bit higher, but so are the average age of the buses (new buses and new routes have forces First's hand in a region they have neglected for years (hopefully the some of the rumoured newer vehicles will arrive in the new year).
    Im not a great fan of the cross-city routes, and it does causes problems with time keeping etc, but on the flip side, it enables people to not have to change buses and we must remember you can stay on most First 15s and go to Keyham as a 4 (I know the number changes, where as 5,5A,21,21A etc don't). If we do have to have cross-city routes from either company, surely better links to Derriford would be a better idea, for example:
    Combine 5 with 27 and 5a with 28 to give - Plymstock to Derriford via City and Mutley, Lower Compton/Deer Park, Eggbuckland, Derriford or
    Combine 21 with 42/42a to give Plympton to Tamerton via city, mutley, crownhill, Derriford
    Those needing the hospital are generally likely to be older people who may have retired to the suburbs (just a thought!)
    I would keep 43 as a Ernesettle - City - Ernesettle and the 40/41s was Southway - City - Southway, and increase the 29 to every ten minutes and serve Barne Barton so that City-St Budeuax-Barne Barton-Transit Way-Crownhill-Derriford-then reverse appears. It might also be useful to extend to make more to the 8/9s becoming 23/24 and utilise the university as an advertising ground.
    The City Centre should be the start and terminus for as many services as possible.
    I guess things must be working ok for both companies for the time, I have seen full 8s and 9s with empty 6s in front, I have seen busy 12s and busy 83s, saw a standing room only 15 and very bus 5/5a's in the last few days - its still one of those 'only time will tell' situations I guess!


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