31 January 2015

Devon Cutbacks Part 4

Devon County Council Bus Cutbacks

Devon County Council have looked at their supported bus network to try and come up with some substantial savings. Over a series of posts we look at some of the individual routes which will be affected, focusing on those which come into the greater Plymothian Transit area.

To help meet the £50 million budget reduction required by Government spending cuts next year, we now face making savings of £1.7m from our annual public transport budget. It will be the first time that we have proposed making service reductions for four years. Most bus services in Devon are run commercially by bus companies at no cost to the Council. However, we spend £5.376m a year to support nearly 200 public bus services, carrying around 4.5m passengers every year. These services would not run without this support. We also manage the National Bus Pass Scheme for 175,000 pass holders in Devon. This costs us more than £9m every year. Efficiencies have already been achieved across the wider Transport Coordination Service to meet previous savings.

We need your help

We would like to find out what you think about our proposals to reduce services. Please let us know what their impact might be on you. The proposals would start to come into effect during the second half of 2015.

This consultation closes on Monday 20 April 2015. We want to hear what you think about our proposals. To give us your comments use the online feedback form below. Important: Before completing the questions read the proposal/s for the public transport service/s relevant to you. If you begin to complete the questions and leave the page before submitting your feedback, your answers will not be saved.


Service 86

Tavistock - Bishopsmead - Horrabridge - Yelverton - Woolwell - Plymouth


Withdrawal of the late evening service - 2145, 2245, 2345 departures from Plymouth and 2150 and 2250 from Tavistock Monday - Saturday. 1845, 1945, 2045, 2145 and 2255 departures from Plymouth and 1945, 2045, 2145 and 2255 departures from Tavistock on Sunday and Public Holidays

About 50% of patronage is within, or from Plymouth

Estimated no.of passengers journeys per year (ie one way trips) no longer catered for on this or alternative services: 6,055

Annual Saving: £30,602

I can see this one causing a few issues if it does get implemented! Unless the bus operators step in an run some commercial evening services it means the last bus to Tavistock will be before 9pm! Even earlier on Sundays.

First 32711 W711RHT

Current Map



Recommended Reading


  1. About 50% of patronage is within, or from Plymouth.

    I suppose the implication here is that Plymouth City Council should be paying the subsidy. For journeys entirely within Plymouth, that may be reasonable; however the journeys from Plymouth are likely to be Yelverton/Tavistock people going home again and these are Devon ratepayers.

  2. I imagine they are saying that the people if travelling from Plymouth may have spent money therefore boosting the
    Plymouth economy but a bit of a cheek really.

  3. As a Tavistock resident I am a bit shocked by the severity of the cuts - I can accept some of the more marginal 'trimming' but the last bus home at 2045 from Plymouth (1745 on Sundays!) is astonishing on a major corridor. It further reduces the connectivity of Tavistock from the rail network at Plymouth - I used to use the evening buses quite frequently on Friday nights when working in London. I note that the summer Dartmoor Sunday Rover services are slashed as well, which will fatally undermine the Okehampton to Exeter rail service.

    1. I should not be surprised if the Dartmoor Sunday Rover were abandoned completely - and with it the Okehampton train service which, I believe, is DCC subsidised. The Gunnislake Sunday service is commercial so I assume would not be affected.

    2. Okehampton rail service - The Dartmoor Railway association has published the passenger figures for the trains last year. The 8 journeys at Okehampton carried an average of about 30 people. The busiest services were the 9:55 to Exeter and the 15:55 return from Exeter. Thus it is used more by Okehampton folk to go shopping in Exeter than Exeter people wanting a day on Dartmoor. The train is reported to be running again for 2015. How much are the Dartmoor Sunday buses used?

  4. I would expect and hope that First might run these commercially..perhaps without the 11:45 departure from Plymouth (except Saturday) maybe?

    1. I hope that you are right, but if First does operate them commercially it does beg the question of why DCC was subsidising them in the first place? Presumably if the cuts do go ahead the future of the Tavistock outstation must be in doubt as the 83/86 service could be operated 'out and back' from Plymouth?

    2. They're not commercial now so it's unlikely that First will take on a loss making chunk of work.
      The Tavistock work is still Tavistock ended and a fair amount of dead mileage would be involved - the dead mileage would be more than the savings from leaving Tavistock.
      There was a time when you could have expected GoAhead to register them commercially, but everything says they're counting their pennies too.

  5. It maybe that perhaps DCC could subsidise the Robough to Tavistock part only, thus cutting the subsidy in half.


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