22 March 2014

Post DAC

Arrangements following DAC coaches announcement

Following the announcement from DAC coaches that they will cease trading later today (Friday 21 March), the Council has been making arrangements with other bus companies to cover the work that the company operates under contract to the Council. At such short notice, it has not been possible to cover bus services which would have operated at the weekend; however the following replacement services have been arranged from Monday 24 March.

Local Bus Services: Timings may alter, please check with the new operator.

  • Service 236 Liskeard – Launceston - will be operated by Group Travel – tel: 01208 77989
  • Service 283 Menheniot – Liskeard – St Neot - will be operated by Jackett’s Coaches – tel: 01822 832304
  • Service 79 Callington – Tavistock – will be operated by Plymouth Citybus - tel: 01752 264224 and Western Greyhound – tel: 01637 871871

School/College Services: pick-up times and locations are unchanged

Callington Community College

  • CAL104 – Calstock – will be operated by C J Down Coaches – tel: 01822 810242
  • CAL105 – St Dominick - will be operated by C J Down Coaches – tel: 01822 810242
  • CAL108 – Pillaton – will be operated by Plymouth Citybus – tel: 01752 264224
  • CAL109 – Blunts, Quethiock - will be operated by C J Down Coaches – tel: 01822 810242
  • CAL111 – Pensilva - will be operated by Caradon Riviera Tours – tel: 01579 362226
  • CAL113 – Rilla Milla, Linkinhorne - will be operated by Caradon Riviera Tours – tel: 01579 362226
  • CAL114 - Stoke Climsland - will be operated by Caradon Riviera Tours – tel: 01579 362226
  • CAL116 – Luckett - will be operated by Target Travel – tel: 01752 242000
  • CAL117 – Latchley – Girlings Coaches – tel: 01752 337824

Liskeard School and Community College

  • LIS109 – Budges Shop, Doddy Cross - will be operated by Jackett’s Coaches – tel: 01822 832304

    Launceston College

  • LAU007 – Laneast, Pipers Pool – will be operated by Group Travel – tel: 01208 77989

    Cornwall College Saltash

  • SC0021 – Pensilva, Liskeard – will be operated by Caradon Riviera Tours – tel: 01579 362226

    For any other queries about the bus services, please contact Cornwall Council’s Passenger Transport Unit on 01872 323562.


    Plymouth Citybus and Western Greyhound are happy to announce that we will be stepping in to run the service 79 between Callington and Tavistock from Monday 24th March. The rescue plan comes in after the sad news that DAC coaches announced earlier today that they will cease trading with immediate effect. WGL and PCB and Cornwall Council have come to the agreement that Plymouth Citybus will run 75% and Western Greyhound 25% of the service. The timetable and fares for the service will remain unchanged to that of the DAC service. However, the service will run free on Monday whilst registrations are put into place.

    Mark Howarth Director at Western Greyhound said "We are very sad to hear the sudden news about DAC, but are delighted that we can step in very quickly along with Plymouth CityBus to make sure that passengers are not inconvenienced”

    Richard Stevens Managing Director at Plymouth Citybus said "We are happy to be able to come to an agreement and step in alongside Western Greyhound to make sure that the passengers will have as little disruption to the route as possible."

    I can confirm that following the unfortunate demise of DAC Coaches, PCB in conjunction with WGL will be operating service 79 between Tavistock and Callington starting from Monday 24th March. PCB will provide three vehicles and WGL the fourth. The published timetable will be in operation for the first two weeks during which time CCC will put the route out to tender. We have been delighted to be able to offer employment to six ex DAC drivers this afternoon. No fares will be charged on Monday 24th March as we get the ticket machines updated and the drivers trained.

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    1. Its great to see PCB and WG are able to work together for the benefit of passengers, its sad to hear about DAC, but at least some drivers have found alternative employment quickly!

    2. I wonder what busses they will use?

      1. 201, 203, 204. Darts 1 - 5 reinstated to cover other services.

    3. I wonder if this will see Darts 1-5 re-instated again!

      Earlier in March, there was an allocation change as follows. (Bear with me, this is relevant!)

      In January 2014, the MPDs from the 20 that came from the 23/24 when they were merged in May were removed from the 20, and placed on the 14, with SLFs from the 14 being swapped onto the 20.

      However, due to overcrowding on peak trips on the 14, a few weeks ago the decision was taken to remove the MPDs from the 14, and these were placed on the 33, with the 14 reverting back to SLFs from the 20, with Enviros from the 33 going on the 20. (A strange decision; I'd have put the MPDs back on the 20 as they were fantastic for the narrow double-parked roads of Woodford, but anyway!)

      With this needing three buses, I assume MPDs, three more buses will be needed. What I reckon they'll do is use MPDs from the 33, put Enviros from the 20 back onto the 33 and re-instate at least three of 1-5 for the 20. Time will tell!

      1. I think darts 1 to 5 will be reinstated as I have just uploaded blinds for the 79/79a/x79. and darts 7 - 27. these would cover in case of a breakdown on the 201-205 batch

      2. The 20 today has seen 13, 67 and 134 so it's anyone's guess as to what it's really allocated! Enviros I assume have gone back on the 33 as I expected them to.

        It's great to see 6 DAC drivers be employed so soon, and must be a huge weight off their shoulders! I think it's the best outcome that could've arisen from a very sad event.

      3. Dart no. 2 was in use on the 33 yesterday (24th March) so that has definitely come out of store.

    4. D.A.C. had three low-floor buses - one full-size Dart and two Plaxton Primo 'manx cats'; they also used one or two step-entrance Mercedes minibuses. I believe one of the Primos was bough brand new. despite the 'E' easy-access markings in the timetable, the Primos did sometimes stray on to the 79A - the long loop through St. Dominick and Cotehele Quay, although I am not sure about the tendered services. I think the 79 group was mostly commercial - with the late FS evening and Callington town services, and possibly the 79A, supported by Cornwall Council. The Council is in for a financial shock if they have to support the whole lot - I hope the frequency does not suffer as that must be one of the reasons why the 79 was such a successful service.

      We shall know tomorrow what buses Citybus and WG will be using - but loads on the 79 can be heavy, particularly between Gunnislake and Tavistock, despite the half-hourly service. I think an MPD would be carrying a standing load at times.

      If Cornwall Council are putting the 79 out to tender, it will be interesting to see if Citybus go for it. They have taken on six DAC drivers, which suggests that expansion is still very much on their mind - if they do take it, watch out the 76 corridor.


    5. I'm suprised no ones mentioned the fact FIrst are not covering anything, these routes were old western national routes back in the day, I'm guessing it maybe there lack of vehicles/staff (which is common knowledge) any thoughts?

    6. They are emergency tenders. All the routes will be tendered in the near future. At that stage anyone can tender for them on an ongoing basis. Someone my even decide to register all or part of any route commercially. First may have declined to step in, may not have been asked, or may have wanted more money than the others. It's not any advantage when it comes to the re tenders that will follow whether you wish to operate them or not. there are a whole raft of reasons why First may not be running anything, and they have the option to tender if they want in due course. perhaps they just aren't going to stretch themselves for a few quid for a short term emergency tender, for no advantage. Perhaps Others have a different view.

    7. First not in a position to respond due to rail replacement commitments?

    8. Unlikely most of First's rail replacements are Hire ins with a short amount of 2 - 3 double deckers, and 2 -3 single deckers coming from First Kernow!

      1. First are running up to twenty vehicles directly from within D&C, including coaches transferred to D&C from within First for this and future rail work.

    9. on the subjet of tenders Cornwall Council should be out now 24/03/2014 anyone know anything?

    10. The only buses that we can use on these routes are the MPDs 201 to 205. It looks like Dennis will be having a few days out in the country. Fortunately Dennis does not suffer from claustrophobia or hay fever. The 79A in particular is a very "interesting" route. I thoroughly recommend a trip. Sorry but Plymouth day riders are not accepted on the 79 routes at the moment.

      1. It's nice to see Dennis out in the country again - a breath of fresh air never did anyone any harm. It's a pity he retreated from Menheniot - I understand people there praised Citybus for an excellent service. And that's not to mention the occasional tour to Bodmin via Cardinham.

        I am not sure why MPDs are the only buses which can be used on the 79 group - just about all parts of that route have been covered by double-deckers in the past. Western Greyhound found the turn by St. Dominick Post Office a bit tight with their double-decker off the 510 - and parked cars in Harrowbarrow are far more of a problem now than when I used to live there. Are the MPDs narrower than the other Darts or just shorter?

        If Day Riders are not acceptable at the moment, does that mean they might be at some time in the future?


    11. Good news - our zone three Dayrider £4.20p is now available on the 79 services, enabling through journeys on service 12 and access to the full PCB network.


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