07 May 2014

Torpoint and Beyond

First Devon Facebook

There have been some rumors that First will shortly no longer be running buses between Plymouth and Torpoint. We can confirm that this is not the case and continue to run up to 4 service 81 buses an hour between Plymouth City Centre, Devonport, Torpoint and HMS Raleigh, 7 days a week (including evenings). However as we have recently lost the Cornwall Council tender to run the service 81 buses beyond HMS Raleigh to Insworke and Rame (from 1 June) we are currently looking at whether this section of the 81 will continue after this date as we will receive no financial support to run them. We will keep you posted. But for now please be assured the service 81 is still and will still be running between Plymouth and Torpoint (CJ)

We have already noted that Plymouth Citybus have won the Cornwall County Council tenders in this area...

22 April 2014

  • Starting Point: Royal Parade Plymouth
  • Finish Point: Liskeard Railway Station
  • Via: Torpoint, Downderry
  • Service Number: 32A
  • Service Type: Normal stopping
  • Effective Date: 1 June 2014

22 April 2014

PH0000135/150 - PLYMOUTH CITYBUS LTD, MILEHOUSE, MILEHOUSE ROAD, PLYMOUTH, PL3 4AA Variation Accepted by SN: Operating between Royal Parade and Torpoint HMS Raleigh given service number 32/22B effective from 01-Jun-2014. To amend Route and Timetable.

We now have the full timetables up on Traveline SW

1 June 2014

Service 32 New Timetable

TIMETABLE PDF Plymouth Citybus 32

Service 32A New Route!

TIMETABLE PDF Plymouth Citybus 32A

Service 32B New Route!

TIMETABLE PDF Plymouth Citybus 32B

It will be very interesting to see if First Devon do decide to run at least some of these services on a commercial basis. It would certainly upset Plymouth Citybus especially as the Council might then have to reconsider the original tender. It could then also upset the council who might wonder why First can suddenly run a service on a commercial basis when it has needed a subsidy for years! If however First give in and cut back their routes to just Plymouth - Torpoint then it should free up a few buses and drivers for use elsewhere in Plymouth where their earning potential should be quite a bit higher. I guess the ball is now firmly in First's court and we all wait to see what First do next... They certainly seem much more up for the fight these days than they have been in recent years.
Full route history on Plymothian Bus Services


  1. What about Sundays? There is no timetable on the CityBus site, and First aren't saying anything either in their notice about continuing to run a service to Torpoint? Presumably a missed opportunity by either CityBus or First, another operator or no Sunday service?

  2. There is no Sunday service to Torpoint or beyond provided by Citybus. First will continue to operate 7 days a week including evenings from Plymouth city to HMS Raleigh (Torpoint) but have not yet decided about operations beyond HMS Raleigh as without funding from Cornwall Council from 1st June probably won't be viable commercially. Personally if I were First I would continue to operate to Innisbrooke/Cawsand etc through the summer as they have done for past 25+ years (most customers will stick with what they know). When they get to September leave that part to funded Citybus and operate every 15 mins as far as HMS Raleigh. This should keep them in control on the main Plymouth - Torpoint corridor as they are now! They can use the resources after the summer, to operate new services in Plymouth where the money is.. Plympton/Southway etc. Play Citybus at their own game.

    They have not given VOSA the 56 days notice to change yet, so there is already going to be some duplication...and of course Cornwall City Council would need to look at the funding Citybus get if First are operating the route commercially.

    First are in the driving seat here..the ball is firmly in their court!

    1. If First do remain beyond Torpoint on a commercial basis then that puts Cornwall in a difficult position, not only would they be seen to be wasting public money on their service, they could also be seen to be abstracting revenue from First, which under the current legislation isn't allowed. Whilst Citybus obviously put in a good tender price (since they won the work) they are really "piggy in the middle" here. As someone who works for a council Passenger Transport Unit (not on the South West) these situations are very dfficult to navigate through!

    2. This situation happens all to often and not just in Plymouth. If, having lost a tender, First (or any operator) now decides that they can run commercially, they should be liable to pay compensation to both PCC and Citybus (and any other tenderers) for the costs occurred through undertaking a wholly unnecessary exercise. There should also be an investigation into whether they have been receiving money from the public purse under false pretences in recent years. Plus if the newly 'commercial' bits are later pulled off as unremunerative, they should be barred from retendering in that round. At best such instances are scandalous, at worst they're fraud.

    3. It'd be nice for First to play Citybus as its own game - Go Ahead take great delight in declaring hitherto tendered services commercial whenever anyone dares to submit a better bid than themselves. It's legal, but morally questionable.

      First aren't going to sit back and let someone take their business, although, it makes Citybus' costings harder as they now need to maintain a commercial through link to Plymouth, that will likely not carry passengers. PCB are undercutting the cheapest operators in the county for work and getting that work.
      There's two reasons for that, either you're growing your business or you are seeking to dominate the area in future, by removing the competition for your contracts.
      But PCB can't run what it presently has and takes its eye off the ball (i.e: the operation of high quality, high frequency services in a major centre of population where growth is assured), then it will get itself into trouble with the traffic commissioners soon.
      And if PCB doesn't make its numbers, look and see how fast the directors are removed from post. Mr Stevens has form for over expanding businesses and getting others to carry the can for his mistakes.

    4. Is the present First service to Cawsand and Insworke commercial or tendered. or a bit of each? I ask because Citybus seem to have taken over from A-Line who only ran from Cremyll to Millbrook and Cawsand. It is interesting that A-Line seem to have kept the two journeys a day which go to St. John. Also that they are running two evening journeys to Insworke - one of them is quite late - via Sheviock and Crafthole, neither of which appears to come back. Presumably dead mileage here unless they are establishing an out-station somewhere.

  3. I was a silly decision to award PCB with the tender-may have been a good price but for a rubbish service,Im on nobodys side but No Late buses and Sunday services is asking for trouble!- First run late and on sundays!
    I think its also worth noting if you buy a 7 day weekly ticket o the 32 effectively its invalid as they only run 6 days a week to Torpoint

  4. Timetable shows a couple of later services but No sunday service

  5. be intersteing to see if first bus stay and run route,s and there don't have to pay anything back to cornwall council,or citybus
    and torpoint be the first town and only town in the uk with out sunday bus route ,seen torpoint first bus dart ,full up at 10.00 last nite a lot of people are not happy with citybus wining all the tender work

  6. some good news for torpoint first bus are running Monday to sat in day and eve and late seavies two and sunday millbrook to cremlly,seen it on first face book


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