13 October 2014

First Target Derriford–and Target

We are slowly getting an idea of the changes our two main companies are planning for their services. First have now published changes to Park & Ride and Derriford services which seem pretty positive...

Changes are being made from Mondays to Fridays to services operated by First in Plymouth to provide better bus connections for staff, patients and visitors using Derriford Hospital. From Monday 27 October, following requests from Plymouth City Council and the hospital, First is launching a new Park & Ride service PR1A. This new service operates from the Milehouse Park & Ride to Derriford Hospital every 30 minutes.

In the morning between 06:25 and 09:51, PR1a buses from Milehouse to Derriford will start from Royal Parade. In the afternoon between 15:57 and 18:07, PR1a buses leaving Derriford Hospital will start at The George Park & Ride and finish at Royal Parade.

First has also announced that a single fare between Milehouse and Derriford Hospital on the PR1a will be just £1.

The same day, there will be extra journeys introduced on Service 15 between Plymouth City Centre, Derriford Hospital and Woolwell to assist Derriford staff and patients. This will include one additional early morning journey from the George Park & Ride to Derriford Hospital and some new early evening trips from Derriford back to the George. A return between The George Park & Ride, the University of St Mark & St John and Derriford Hospital on the 15 and 86 is only £1 return.

Commenting on the changes, Paul Smith, First’s Devon Operations Manager said: “With the reduction in parking spaces at the hospital this year, we were more than happy to work with the Plymouth Hospitals NHS Trust and the city council to find solutions to the challenges this would present its staff, patients and visitors.

“Following discussions, we are introducing the new Service PR1a which will exclusively serve the hospital between the city centre and the two Park & Ride sites at the George and Milehouse at peak times every half an hour. At the same time, Service 15 will include extra morning and evening journeys to help staff, patients and visitors getting to and from the hospital.

Paul Smith adds: “Feedback from the bus users’ surgery at Derriford Hospital, has been very encouraging and customers welcomed our proposals for enhancing the services. These changes are good news for Plymouth as they will ensure that staff, patients and visitors going to and from the hospital will have peace of mind that there will be regular bus services to ensure they arrive on time for work and for their appointments.”

“Also, at just £1, the single fare between the Milehouse Park & Ride and Derriford Hospital is more good news for bus users and represents excellent value for money. What is more, this service will be particularly useful for drivers coming up from Cornwall or coming off A38 at Manadon from the east.”

Customers wanting more information about the changes or wishing to view timetables for the affected services are advised to log onto: www.firstgroup.com/devon. First is also on Twitter and Facebook, at www.twitter.com/firstbus_devon and www.facebook.com/firstdevon. A guide to bus services for Derriford Hospital will be available from mid-October.

It is good to see First fighting back and actually expanding services for a change.I can see the Milehouse Park & Ride to Derriford being very popular, providing the service is reliable enough. It will be very interesting to see how Target Travel's PR3 manages with the extra competition. First already compete with them on the 15 but this is quite a push. Target do have a bit of an advantage of having regular drivers who have built up a good rapport with their regular passengers, many of whom will stay loyal to Target, but many patients will just get on whichever bus comes first.

First 33177 LR02LYW

Although just about anything can be used on the 15, including Solos, buses can get very busy so double decker's are always welcome on the 15.

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1 comment:

  1. This does seem a positive move and some what, if only little, expansion to services. I can see them doing very well with the new PR1a, this is needed from Derriford Hospital to both park and ride sites, also the evening 15 from George to Derriford is good, it is a pity they can not extend the 15 into the city of an evening as well though.
    Citybus have their changes on website, it seems in the main to cut the frequency of the 43 from 10 min to 15 minute, and retiming to try and sort out obvious problems with 29/34 and Blue Flash. I note though that Ivybridge lose the 45 on Sundays with no service provided. This could see customers switching to Stagecoach out here. At least First provided a Sunday service on X80.


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