13 January 2014

Park with less Ride

Staff at Derriford were recently informed about upcoming changes to the Park & Ride service PR3 currently run by Target Travel.

All staff that use the George Park and Ride should be aware that there will be changes to the Target Travel PR3 timetable.  From Monday 3rd February 2014, the PR3 services will operate every 20 minutes. Throughout the day, buses will depart from the George at 05/25/45 minutes past each hour, starting at 0645. The bus will leave Derriford Hospital at 14/34/54 minutes past each hour. The last bus will be at 1914.  The service will continue to operate Monday to Friday and will continue to serve Marjon College, but not the Tamar Science Park.

The reason the service has been reduced back to 20 minutes is due to funding.  To operate a 10 minute service requires 2 buses, and whilst Target Travel can operate one bus on a commercial basis, the patronage and revenue is not sufficient for them to be able to run two buses commercially.

Target Travel KX59CYY

Plymouth City Council originally had funding available to help meet the cost of the second bus, however, all funding has now been fully utilised and patronage levels have not increased to a level whereby the second bus can continue without a subsidy.  Whilst the Council have made every endeavour to try and secure funding from other sources, this has not been possible and therefore, the service will need to revert to a one bus operation.  The Trust has seriously considered subsidising the second bus but the cost is significant and currently this is not possible, but this will be kept under constant review.

This has to be frustrating to the hospital management as there are about to be some fairly major changes for staff parking. At some time in the not too distant future the current Park & Ride site in the Bircham Valley will be closing. Cutting the PR3 can only make it even less appealing to staff. At the same time there is a major review of staff parking charges – it will be going up and probably quite steeply too.

One suggestion I have heard is that maybe First could route their PR1 through Derriford / Marjon using the new Airport road. This would give a much better frequency and should not add too much to journey times for other users (I am not so sure on that!). Maybe when the new Marjon link road is built next year that could be an option?

There is another option – First 15 service which is due to change in February. As I understand it, the service will also be every 20 minutes. Now if that service runs exactly in between the PR3 times then a nice ten min frequency can be restored. Maybe First and Target can work together to achieve this and maybe even accept each others return tickets on this stretch of route? Wouldn't that be a nice win – win for everybody?

There are a few good deals on Staff Discount Tickets:

Plymouth Citybus offer 10% discount to NHS staff on 7/28/365 day advanced tickets.

From February 1, NHS staff will be able to get discounted advanced monthly tickets with First buses.

The Green Travel Pass is still available for anyone that wishes to join the scheme.

Busworld Photography: Sadly Bournemouth Yellow Bus and their once sizable fleet of Atlantean and Daimler Fleetlines will never return.

Focus Transport: Electric buses which their developers say can run all day are set to begin service. A fleet of eight new electric vehicles will operate along a busy route in Milton Keynes from late January.

Public Transport Experience: A case of "if it ain't busted, don't try to fix it!" Pity Northampton Borough Council didn't think that way a year or so ago; nay 15 years ago!

Focus Transport: The manufacturers of Boris Johnson's multi-million pound new London bus threatened to prevent publication of a book criticising the design and construction of the vehicles.

Public Transport Experience: We might just return to sanity when we go a little further back into the family tree of Jackett's little Dart. Here it is with Nederlandse Spoorwegen (Dutch Railways), labelled Abellio on London Buses route P13.

The British Bus Bugle: Let's take a look at how Southampton City Council promotes the buses in its area.

Andy Bus Blog: We are pleased to introduce our readers to the brand new, hot off the press Norfolk Green Fleet Handbook 2014

Circle of London London's latest generation decker, dubbed 'V6'. The vehicle was delivered to Go-Ahead's Camberwell Garage in October 2013


  1. Now come on Graham back into the real world !!!

    First have targeted the PR3 service by running service 15 from Derriford to George Junction with special offers and seeing the reduction to a one bus every twenty minute operation will surely only enhance their resolve. What is the betting the 15 will run to similar times to the revised PR3 service and passengers will lose out on the 10 minute frequency they currently enjoy.

    Ian Lang
    Newton Abbot

  2. This cut back could be crucial on this route as Firsts 15 covers the same section also on 20 min frequency but is actually cheaper than Target. That along with the NHS discount First will be giving out off the already cheap £40 monthly Plymouth area ticket...which would be valid on the 15 and any other First route. If NHS employee plays it clever buy a First Week/Month ticket with NHS discount (I believe it will be £33 ish per month) they can use this on both First 15 and Target PR3 (Result!) First could do well on this corridor...if I were them I would look to increase the 15 on the Plymouth side of the hospital; to every 15 mins again, or maybe every 10, with every 2nd one contining to Woolwell. I would route the 15 into the Park and Ride site perhaps.

  3. Is there any truth to rumour as posted in Herald and I have heard elsewhere Citybus dayrider is going up to £4.20 soon??

    Target could struggle here as Firsts reduced £33 month ticket for NHS employees will mean an employee wrking 5 days a wek could pay less for travel all across the city including the 15 to George Park and Ride than they do just to travel on Targets PR£, both have same frequency too!

    1. The Skipper is £4 so Citybus would presumably have to withdraw from that scheme if they wanted to charge £4.20 for a dayrider.

  4. Studying the revised Service 15 timetable from 16th February it looks like common sense may have prevailed with First slotting in roughly between Target Travel.

    Derriford xx05/25/45 to Deorge Hotel xx13/33/53
    George Hotel xx13/33/53 to Derriford xx23/43/03

    Posters on Royal Parade state that due to customer requests all service 15s will run to Woolwell with a new early morning departure from Royal Parade at 0630.

    Ian Lang
    Newton Abbot

  5. love to know where u got that info from re pcb dayrider going up?

  6. That rumour is a load of tosh. Especially when the Skipper is £4, enabling travel on any bus in Plymouth. I would say £3.70 if they are going to put it up. The £4.20 might be the 3 zone ticket (including Tavistock)


Have something interesting to say? Please share it here!

(Moderation is currently switched on so please allow a short while before your comment appears on the site. This is only to cut down on spam - not to cut out people who disagree with me!)