11 April 2014


Plymouth Herald: First bus announces changes to Plymouth services

A BUS firm has announced it will be ‘streamlining’ its services in Plymouth, south Devon and East Cornwall. First bus said the changes will be made in May with the most significant starting on May 25 restructuring the Plymouth to Tavistock route. The firm said there would also be changes to the Woolwell service which now calls at The George Park & Ride site.
  • Service 4 (Plymouth City Centre to Keyham): due to changes to 15 service, buses will now run 10 minutes later than current timetable.
  • Service 15 (Plymouth City Centre to Derriford, Roborough and Woolwell): revised timetable providing 20 minute service through to Woolwell from city centre during peak periods with most journeys operating through The George Park & Ride site for those using the Park & Ride for Derriford. During off peak periods, the Woolwell service will operate on a 20/40 minute frequency. Combined with Service 86, there will now be up to five buses an hour towards Derriford during peak periods.
  • Service 48 (Plymouth to Wembury): On Sunday, one journey a day will extend from Burrator to Exeter, which will effectively be Service 82.
  • Service 83 (Plymouth to Yelverton and Tavistock): Frequency of timetable is changing so there is one bus every 30 minutes which will run in conjunction with Service 86. During peak periods, there will be four buses an hour and three buses an hour during off peak times. Evening journeys from Milehouse will be withdrawn and will serve Mutley instead.
  • Service 84 (Plymouth to Derriford and Tavistock): Service 84 is being withdrawn but a direct service to Tavistock will be introduced instead.
  • Service 86 (Plymouth to Derriford and Tavistock): Service 86 is being enhanced to run every 30 minutes during peak periods and hourly at off peak times. Off peak, it will form part of the 20 minute headway with Service 15 from Plymouth to Derriford. Along with Service 83, there will be four buses an hour during peak times and three buses an hour off peak. Off peak journeys into Plymouth will operate via The George Park & Ride site. Evening Service 83s will run as Service 86 to Mutley.

Customers who want more information about the changes or timetables should visit www.firstgroup.com/devon.

I will have a closer look at these changes once the full timetables are published. It sounds complicated but I am sure that's just the way it has been written up. It looks like an increase in Tavistock services at peak times at least and also quite an increase for Derriford Hospital - The George Park & Ride which represents a big attack on Target Travels service.

One thing which caught my eye was the last line suggesting you visit www.firstgroup.com/devon for more information... Error   Missing Page   FirstGroup plc.

Of course the full url you need is www.firstgroup.com/ukbus/devon_cornwall

where you can indeed find the latest updates - on Somerset buses! I am sure the details of these Devon changes will appear on their web site in due course, just a shame they were not there when the story was published by The Herald. It does not look good when you give out the wrong web site address and then don't have the information there anyway!
However, I know a lot of people at Derriford will be looking out for these details with anticipation!

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  1. Timetables on first website. increase to 5 buses an hour from robotough, derriford.mutley.city in peak hours. 15 to run 2 per hour 10am to 4pm.. Replaced with 2 x 86 per hour in rush hours and 1 x 86 per hour via mutley off.peak. 86 in evenings now all via mutley and 83 only runs during daytime at half hour intervals.

  2. nice to see first bus run more buses to derriford hospital .along with the 15/86 bus all day known ,and eve .this is done couse citybus tavastock bus is gone derriford hospital soon ,and nice see the route 48 gone Exeter on sunday,s one trip may be more to come

    is first bus feeling brave gone Exeter .beating citybus lol

    1. if first wanna go Exeter and take on stagecoach, best of luck. they will need it!
      And the citybus going through derriford goes to okehampton, not tavistock. check your facts before commenting.

    2. Nothing brave about it - they just won the tender to operate it. Devon seem to be going for more imaginative ways to make limited money go further. By linking in the tender for the 48 to the 82 it saves money. The 180 Ivybridge service linking in with Citybus 20 is another good example.

    3. @Anon 18:16, the citybus to Okehampton will go via both Derriford & Tavistock Bus Station if you're refering to service 11

  3. First have traditionally run the 82 summer service over the moors to Exeter.

    1. That depends how far back you want to go. There was a time when Plymouth City Transport won the tender for the 82 - and the faretables had an annotation against Dousland which called it 'the edge of the known world'. The 82 then was, I seem to remember, two-hourly - and what would have made sense in those (pre-deregulation?) days would have been for Plymouth to have operated the journeys starting there and Devon General the ones starting in Exeter. As it was, there had to be dead positioning runs along the A38 morning and evening.

      There was also a period when Stagecoach were running the 82.


    2. Until the end of the 1982 season, the 82 was Plymouth to Moretonhampstead only. It ran through to Exeter in 1983, when it was indeed run jointly by Western National and Devon General. There were two journeys in each direction, so one bus needed from each operator.

  4. From First's website news section. I wonder what criteria First used to conclude that they were "Plymouths [sic] main bus operator"? Bizarre!

    "Wednesday 02 April 2014
    First, Plymouths main bus operator, is helping Torpoint junior school pupils......"

  5. Despite what some posters on this blog seemed to think was likely, First has announced Alex Carter's permanent appointment as MD of FDC:

    Thursday 10 April 2014

    First UK Bus has appointed Alex Carter as Managing Director for its South West business, which incorporates bus operations in Cornwall, Devon and Somerset.

    Alex, who has more than 30 years experience in the bus industry, has been working with First since June 2013 initiating a series of changes in these businesses as part of First’s wider UK Bus transformation programme.

    Talking about his appointment Alex said: “We’ve got a very committed and talented team in the South West. I’m both proud and delighted to have the opportunity to lead them. There are some fantastic opportunities in the region to grow the business and we’ll be working hard to improve our services and encourage more people on board our buses.”

  6. If you read the article Alex carter says they are streamlining, taking in any operator require's capital And resources neither of which first Devon have, they are not expanding anymore to take on Citybus so why on earth would they go to Exeter to take on stagecoach. They should in this day and age work with the competition rather then against it, for example you can buy stagecoach explorer's on Citybus, first should be saying to stagecoach if you except our tickets on the Plymouth - torquay corridor we'll. Except yours on the 93??

    1. The news of Alex Carter becoming permanent at First Devon/Cornwall has got to be good news. He has got a wealth of experience in the business including turning several loss making companies around. This already appears to be the case in Somerset and Cornwall, and new services launched in Plymouth at the end of last year appear to be well used, whilst cutting out failing routes at the same time. From my untrained eye First seem to be fighting off Citybus attacks on Tavistock and Torpoint well (particularly so, in Torpoint, where the 32 is a dead duck). First of old would have probably collapsed against Citybus on these routes, like they did in Ivybridge a few years ago, but not now. It also clearly states there is huge expansion potential in the south west which they can now fully work on with the aid of Alex Carter, so we will now have to wait and see what this brings to Plymouth. We in Plymouth are very fortunate to have both First and Go Ahead competing, especially so with the low fares that First offer, £3 for a day ticket and £11 weekly, for the whole city, including Saltash/Torpoint is very good, and I doubt most other cities our size enjoy such low fares, particularly where there is only one operator. You can see this by Go Ahead for eg £3.70 Plymouth and Stagecoach £3.60 Exeter, both £15/£16 weekly.

    2. I agree that its great having two main operators and long may it continue. However it was only a few years back that First fares were going up and up?! Lets be honest, they have to lower their fares now as they simply can't compete. £3.00 for a Day ticket or £11.00 for weekly is only good if they serve the area you need to travel but their coverage of Plymouth isn't great which is why I believe Citybus will always win, and I'm not endorsing either company.

  7. To be honest the way the Herald has reported it, particularly 15/83/84/86 changes is very confusing (along with a picture of First bus in Bristol) It is a lot clearer on the First Devon website. Vast improvements to services in Mon - Fri peak times, on the Tavistock, Derriford Hospital, Mutley corridor that's for sure, often a First bus every 5 to 10 mins here which is great. The reinstatement of the 86 every 30 mins peak times and hourly off peak is most welcome along with 2 x 83 (3 in peaks) should see off Citybus 11 on this section when it starts and still matches the 12 on frequency... both cost £4.50 from Tavi so should be interesting, although of course First run until gone Midnight, and have a far superior Sunday offering. Citybus will only run the 11 every 2 hours on Sunday, Blue Flash Withdrawn. Well done First

  8. think ur fine the blue flash citybus is staying ,that's why first having big shuck up on the route to see the 11 bus off

    1. Blue flash withdrawn on Sunday. Only 11 will run.. Nowhere near as gd a service as that offered by First on this route. Noticed as well some older buses turning up on this route from pcb lately.

  9. it nice to see a lot of people talk about first bus and all good things ,like the tavistock route and alex is doing a great job ,bye cheap bus fare,s my mate drives first torpoint bus ,and says Plymouth is now making money .in stead of run a loss ,more people are using first and cars at home ,11.00 weekly ticket torpoint ,saltash ,Plymouth ,cant do that in a car for work /

    well done first keep up the good work .just need newer buses ,and Plymouth depot got a new local manager I been told ,with 30 years in the bus job .and loads of new plans

  10. OK.. The facts of the changes to Tavistock routes are as follows..

    Citybus - Mon - Sat Blue Flash every 30 mins, 11 once every hour = 3 buses per hour. No evening service after 8pm
    First - Mon - Sat 83 - every 30 mins, new.. return of 86 via Mutley, once per hour off peak, 2 per hour peak times Mon - Fri = 3 per hour off peak, 4 at peak times. Evening hourly 86 via Mutley, until around Midnight.

    Sunday - Citybus - Blue Flash - WITHDRAWN. 11 - 4 journeys per day.

    I think some commentators need to read the comments before saying it's rubbish.

    Timetables for this are on the First website, and in the case of Citybus, Travelline only at this stage.

  11. 11 and 12 timetables on the Citybus website:


    http://www.plymouthbus.co.uk/site/uploads/publications/1286.htm (11)
    http://www.plymouthbus.co.uk/site/uploads/publications/1287.htm (12)


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