20 January 2015

Cornwall Transit

Cornwall Transit 002

Part 1 was back on the 6th January

First Kernow

Newly acquired Optare Solos 53503 YJ06YSK and 53504 YJ56AOT are in a two tone green livery which is pretty much the same as the Buses in Somerset livery. Both lettered up for First Kernow it does appear to be the new livery for the Cornwall fleet. Whilst it would have been nice to see something different for Cornwall, it is very smart and does make sense as it allows for easy transfers between the two fleets.


First also announced special fares on their new services:

From 7th January we’re lowering some of our fares on our new service 24 and extended service 27. Here’s a few examples: On service 24: Mevagissey – St Austell – Fowey) Mevagissey to St Austell Adult £3 single £4.50 return Tywardreath to St Austell Adult £3 single £4.50 return

On service 27 (Bodmin – St Austell – Truro) Penwithick to St Austell Adult £2 single £3 return Bodmin to Roche Adult £3 single £4.50 return




PH0004983/506 - FIRST DEVON & CORNWALL LTD, THE RIDE, CHELSON MEADOW, PLYMOUTH, PL9 7JT Registration Accepted by SN Starting Point: Carglaze Industrial Estate Finish Point: Carglaze Industrial Estate Via: Boscoppa, At. Austell Bus Station Service Number: 30 Service Type: Normal Stopping Effective Date: 05-JAN-2015 Other Details: Monday to Friday, except public holidays.

This one was already covered in the last edition - its to replace the Cornwall Busways service 30.

Social Media

There was a nice little discussion on the First Kernow Facebook page from a passenger asking a perfectly reasonable question:
Why ,if you are making a profit, do you have to be subsided by local and national government, When you tender for the routes you know the profitable and not so profitable routes and as such these should be taken account of at that time!

actually our fuel costs are below the typical pump advertised prices, As part of a large group company we are able to negotiate the price we pay for a year per litre from one of the fuel suppliers. As such our costs are not calculated against mainstream pump prices. Although I can't go into more specific detail. I hope you will now understand the retail pump price reduction shouldn't be used as a basis for what might happen with our fares.(KC)

So the huge reduction on the price of oil hasn't affected your fuel price at all? Is it not worth negotiating a better deal to pass savings onto customers?

unfortunately as I said I cant comment to much on what is commercially sensitive information to us as a business. On the flip side of this coin. We have suffered a reduction since 2012 in the amount of duty on fuel we can claim back due to changes to Bus Service operators grants with further changes to this in 2014. This has increased operating costs to all bus companies and it's not all been passed to the customers by increased fares. Along with reduced funding from councils to operate commercially uneconomical routes. As I said there is a bigger picture than the cost of road side advertised fuel prices. (KC)

Its good to see the company try to explain the problems they are facing rather than just ignore the questions. I guess we can expect a lot more focus on fares over the coming months especially as we lead up to the next election...

Travel Cornwall

Covered last time, these new timetables for Travel Cornwall (Summercourt) started this week from the 19th January 2015:

Western Greyhound

Lets start off with the bit of WG that's very much on the outskirts of Cornwall Transit's normal coverage: Last time we mentioned a few new VOSA registrations for Western Greyhound:

PH0006741/119 - WESTERN GREYHOUND LTD, WESTERN HOUSE, ST. AUSTELL STREET, SUMMERCOURT, NEWQUAY, TR8 5DR Registration Accepted by SN Starting Point: Bitterne Shops Finish Point: Bursledon Tesco Via: Harefield, Thornhill, Sholine Service Number: 15 Service Type: Normal Stopping Effective Date: 12-JAN-2015 Other Details: Monday to friday except public and bank holidays.

PH0006741/120 - WESTERN GREYHOUND LTD, WESTERN HOUSE, ST. AUSTELL STREET, SUMMERCOURT, NEWQUAY, TR8 5DR Registration Accepted by SN Starting Point: Southampton City Centre Finish Point: Shirley Precinct Via: Regents Park, Millbrook Service Number: S2 Service Type: Normal Stopping Effective Date: 12-JAN-2015 Other Details: Monday to Saturday, Except public and bank holidays.

PH0006741/121 - WESTERN GREYHOUND LTD, WESTERN HOUSE, ST. AUSTELL STREET, SUMMERCOURT, NEWQUAY, TR8 5DR Registration Accepted by SN Starting Point: Lords Hill Centre Finish Point: Hedge End (Sainsubury's Superstore) Via: Shiley Precinct, Southampton City Centre, Thornhill Service Number: S1 Service Type: Normal Stopping Effective Date: 12-JAN-2015 Other Details: Monday to Saturday, except public and bank holidays

This was then followed by the news from Xelabus: From Monday 12th January 2015 we will be taking over the three services operated by Black Velvet Travel. The services will be operated by green Xelabus vehicles. This has been explained: its correct that Velvet was to be renamed Solent Greyhound, but Xelabus recently made an offer to buy the company, which would have been daft to turn down, and enables Smith and Butcher to concentrate on Western Greyhound without the distraction of Southampton.

Vehicle News

Its very much a fluid situation at the moment with buses in all colours currently operating in Cornwall. Highlights are
  • Volvo B7TL W401WGH in all over pink as WG fleet number 461.
  • Dennis Dart MPD SHZ2046 also in pink as WG number 202.
  • DAF SB120 FJ54ZDP WG 388 GA London Red livery
  • DAF SB120 FJ54ZDT WG 389 GA London Red livery
  • DAF SB120 BX04BXM WG 243 GA London Red livery
  • Dennis Dart Caetano Y361HMY WG 283 plain white livery
  • Dennis Dart Plaxton PJ02RGZ WG 286 Pennine Orange & Black livery
Photo credit: EastleighBusman under Creative Commons Licence.


  1. "Both lettered up for First Kernow it does appear to be the new livery for the Cornwall fleet."

    No it isn't!

    1. Ok - more than happy to stand corrected!

    2. Not what I've been told, but perhaps things have changed.

    3. It's probably not sensible to go green right now, I guess they probably weren't expecting anyone to buy Western Greyhound!

    4. I didn't say they wouldn't go green, just that this isn't the FK livery. This is BoS livery and those two Solos will no doubt end up back in Somerset on EDF work before long.

    5. - Those two Solos have never worked in Somerset, they've just been acquired from Regal via Ensignbus.
      - Why on earth would FDC want to have two different green liveries when they could utilise one, it makes no sense.
      - I have to say that if First has a plan for Cornwall then it's very well disguised. Or was it blown out of the water when someone came along and rescued WG? The various recently acquired Solos in Cornwall have been painted in at least three different colour schemes - one really has to wonder whether Aberdeen is aware or has sanctioned what's going on and what's happening to their precious brand identities, let alone the reintroduction of the Truronian name on some of the bus fleet. I know they're expanding the fleet but it's all looking very messy and haphazard.

    6. Quite. FK always wanted three more small Solos and they've got them. The two green ones and a silver one. They have had to spend a lot of money on them righting neglect by the previous owners and I'm sure the last thing they intend is for them to disappear to Somerset.

    7. Oh well, if you say so. You clearly believe that you know better than me x

      Interestingly, one of the two green Solos was 'righted' at Taunton, and indeed painted green there. Not sure who you believe is sat in Aberdeen 'sanctioning' (or not) things these days?

    8. One of the Solos could well have been 'righted' at Taunton, it matters not, it's all part of FDC. I wasn't aware that Taunton has a paintshop, do they really?

      Quite why First would go to the trouble of buying small narrow Solos for the Mousehole route to finally replace non-DDA Varios and then using them in Somerset, I can't imagine. First may do some bonkers things but they're not total idiots.

      As for Aberdeen, if there isn't any HO control whatsoever these days then it's rather neglectful. I'm all in favour of giving more control locally but there must be some guidelines to work within. Cornwall seems to be doing its own thing (under strained circumstances given the WG debarcle, granted) but no company I've ever worked for as been this lax in allowing fiddling with its brand image and identity.

  2. The owner of Western Greyhound is Mr Bishop, not Mr Butcher.

    1. Only the owner until the next troubled business comes along, then it will be bye bye Western Greyhound.

    2. Yep... Just look at Bishop's directorial history.

  3. that's nice ant it first cornwall get 06 plate and 56 plate buses
    after there take Plymouth 2012 plate buses
    and Plymouth get more old nacked rubbish again Plymouth used to get newer plate buses
    I be bring this up at first meeting in next few mouths .has I be in meeting with manager etc

  4. Plymouth used to have a good fleet off buses from 05 ,56,06,07,57,09,54b,55,08 plate
    but all gone out Plymouth even cornwall took 2012 buses couse
    cornwall alwya had Plymouth rubbish for years now we get cornwall rubbish
    u think first would up the game seeing citybus got newer buses

  5. To be fair to first kernow they still have a few step entrance buses wich in my opinion are getting a little passed there sell by date although very well looked after so I can see why they are getting some new busses my question is what will happen to the open top busses? Will they be allowed with the new regulations coming out?

    1. The open top buses are not affected by the regulations for a few more years yet.

    2. Two more years, to be exact.

  6. Southampton routes: I note that today 20th, Xelabus have registered the 3 routes in their own name (PH1098723/73, 74 ,75) starting from 9 Feb. S1 to X11, S2 to X12, B4 to X14. They are also taking on Wheelers W56 as their X56, which will fit in with the X14(B4). Thus will end the remaining connection between WG and Southampton.

  7. For interest Southampton bus update http://sotonbus.blogspot.co.uk/ has comments to its 8th Jan entry for the end of Velvet, from Philip Blair the MD of Xelabus expanding on the background and current plans for these routes. Also from Phil Stockley, the former owner of Velvet Travel, on the subject of fuel costs and how little difference it makes.


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