16 July 2015

Stagecoach Register

As expected yesterday saw a batch of registrations on VOSA from Stagecoach. I have reproduced these below as they are. We will be filling in all the details as they come in over the coming weeks.

I am informed that these are ALL the initial registrations for now at least. ** The main points being NO Torpoint and NO SALTASH. Also note no other Plymouth services apart from the 2 to Mount Batten. For Plymouth it only really leaves Woolwell without a bus service and word is that Devon County Council are talking to operators to see if anyone else can step in with a commercial operation before they have to decide to pay for a replacement. All those people confidently predicting a full citywide network to give Citybus a good thrashing are wide off the mark. Of course if Citybus get over confident and increase competition against Stagecoach then I am sure they will up the ante. Personally I am sure the two groups can exist quite peacefully alongside each other as had generally been the case in Plymouth.

** by more than one reliable source, but things can change so we will be keeping an eye out!

 

PH1020951/197 - STAGECOACH DEVON LTD T/A Stagecoach South West, BELGRAVE ROAD, EXETER, EX1 2LB

  • Variation Accepted: Operating between Torquay Strand and Totnes Royal Seven Stars given service number GOLD effective from 07-Sep-2015. To amend Timetable.

PH1020951/198 - STAGECOACH DEVON LTD T/A Stagecoach South West, BELGRAVE ROAD, EXETER, EX1 2LB

  • Variation Accepted: Operating between Totnes Royal Seven Stars and Plymouth given service number GOLD effective from 07-Sep-2015. To amend Timetable.

PH1020951/234 - STAGECOACH DEVON LTD T/A Stagecoach South West, BELGRAVE ROAD, EXETER, EX1 2LB

  • Registration Accepted
  • Starting Point: The George Park & Ride
  • Finish Point: Plymouth Royal Parade
  • Via:
  • Service Number: 101
  • Service Type: Normal Stopping
  • Effective Date: 07-SEP-2015
  • Other Details: Mondays to Saturdays except Bank Holidays

PH1020951/235 - STAGECOACH DEVON LTD T/A Stagecoach South West, BELGRAVE ROAD, EXETER, EX1 2LB

  • Registration Accepted
  • Starting Point: Coypool Park & Ride
  • Finish Point: Plymouth Royal Parade
  • Via:
  • Service Number: 200
  • Service Type: Normal Stopping
  • Effective Date: 07-SEP-2015
  • Other Details: Mondays to Saturdays except Bank Holidays every 10/12 mins

PH1020951/236 - STAGECOACH DEVON LTD T/A Stagecoach South West, BELGRAVE ROAD, EXETER, EX1 2LB

  • Registration Accepted
  • Starting Point: Royal Parade
  • Finish Point: Mount Batten
  • Via:
  • Service Number: 2
  • Service Type: Normal Stopping
  • Effective Date: 07-SEP-2015
  • Other Details: Daily service upto 20 mins Mon-Sat and hourly on Sundays and Bank Holidays on each service

PH1020951/237 - STAGECOACH DEVON LTD T/A Stagecoach South West, BELGRAVE ROAD, EXETER, EX1 2LB

  • Registration Accepted
  • Starting Point: Plymouth
  • Finish Point: Kingsbridge
  • Via:
  • Service Number: 3
  • Service Type: Normal Stopping
  • Effective Date: 06-SEP-2015
  • Other Details: Monday to Saturday approx hourly, Sundays & Bank holidays - 4 journeys in each direction

PH1020951/238 - STAGECOACH DEVON LTD T/A Stagecoach South West, BELGRAVE ROAD, EXETER, EX1 2LB

  • Registration Accepted
  • Starting Point: Kingsbridge
  • Finish Point: Dartmouth
  • Via:
  • Service Number: 3
  • Service Type: Normal Stopping
  • Effective Date: 06-SEP-2015
  • Other Details: Mondays to Saturdays approx hourly, Sundays & Bank Holidays - 4 journeys each way

PH1020951/239 - STAGECOACH DEVON LTD T/A Stagecoach South West, BELGRAVE ROAD, EXETER, EX1 2LB

  • Registration Accepted
  • Starting Point: Kingsbridge
  • Finish Point: Dartmouth
  • Via:
  • Service Number: 3
  • Service Type: Normal Stopping
  • Effective Date: 07-SEP-2015
  • Other Details: School Terms only from Dartmouth to Kingsbridge

PH1020951/240 - STAGECOACH DEVON LTD T/A Stagecoach South West, BELGRAVE ROAD, EXETER, EX1 2LB

  • Registration Accepted
  • Starting Point: Tavistock Bus Station
  • Finish Point: Bishopsmead/Courtlands Road
  • Via:
  • Service Number: 89
  • Service Type: Normal Stopping
  • Effective Date: 07-SEP-2015
  • Other Details: Mondays to Saturdays except Bank Holidays approx hourly

PH1020951/241 - STAGECOACH DEVON LTD T/A Stagecoach South West, BELGRAVE ROAD, EXETER, EX1 2LB

  • Registration Accepted
  • Starting Point: Dartmouth
  • Finish Point: Townstal
  • Via:
  • Service Number: 90
  • Service Type: Normal Stopping
  • Effective Date: 06-SEP-2015
  • Other Details: Daily Service upto every 15 mins Mon - Fri, 30 mins Sat, Sun and Bank Holidays

PH1020951/242 - STAGECOACH DEVON LTD T/A Stagecoach South West, BELGRAVE ROAD, EXETER, EX1 2LB

  • Registration Accepted
  • Starting Point: Princetown/Burrator/Plymouth
  • Finish Point: Wembury
  • Via:
  • Service Number: 48
  • Service Type: Normal Stopping
  • Effective Date: 06-SEP-2015
  • Other Details: Daily Service

PH1020951/243 - STAGECOACH DEVON LTD T/A Stagecoach South West, BELGRAVE ROAD, EXETER, EX1 2LB

  • Registration Accepted
  • Starting Point: Exeter
  • Finish Point: Princetown
  • Via:
  • Service Number: 48
  • Service Type: Normal Stopping
  • Effective Date: 06-SEP-2015
  • Other Details: Sundays & Bank Holidays until 13 September 2015, then from 29 May until mid September 2016 and at similar periods each year.

PH1020951/244 - STAGECOACH DEVON LTD T/A Stagecoach South West, BELGRAVE ROAD, EXETER, EX1 2LB

  • Registration Accepted
  • Starting Point: Dartmouth Park & Ride
  • Finish Point: Dartmouth Pontoon
  • Via:
  • Service Number: 91
  • Service Type: Normal Stopping
  • Effective Date: 06-SEP-2015
  • Other Details: Daily Service every 20 mins

PH1020951/245 - STAGECOACH DEVON LTD T/A Stagecoach South West, BELGRAVE ROAD, EXETER, EX1 2LB

  • Registration Accepted
  • Starting Point: Woolwell
  • Finish Point: Coombe Dene School
  • Via:
  • Service Number: 807
  • Service Type: Normal Stopping
  • Effective Date: 07-SEP-2015
  • Other Details: Schooldays only, One journey in each direction

PH1020951/246 - STAGECOACH DEVON LTD T/A Stagecoach South West, BELGRAVE ROAD, EXETER, EX1 2LB

  • Registration Accepted
  • Starting Point: Milehouse
  • Finish Point: Coombe Dene School
  • Via:
  • Service Number: 808
  • Service Type: Normal Stopping
  • Effective Date: 07-SEP-2015
  • Other Details: Schooldays only

PH1020951/247 - STAGECOACH DEVON LTD T/A Stagecoach South West, BELGRAVE ROAD, EXETER, EX1 2LB

  • Registration Accepted
  • Starting Point: Widewell/Robouough
  • Finish Point: Tor Bridge High School
  • Via:
  • Service Number: 805
  • Service Type: Normal Stopping
  • Effective Date: 07-SEP-2015
  • Other Details: Schooldays only, one journey in each direction on each service

PH1020951/248 - STAGECOACH DEVON LTD T/A Stagecoach South West, BELGRAVE ROAD, EXETER, EX1 2LB

  • Registration Accepted
  • Starting Point: Devonport
  • Finish Point: Coombe Dene School
  • Via:
  • Service Number: 806
  • Service Type: Normal Stopping
  • Effective Date: 07-SEP-2015
  • Other Details: Schooldays, one journey in each direction

PH1020951/249 - STAGECOACH DEVON LTD T/A Stagecoach South West, BELGRAVE ROAD, EXETER, EX1 2LB

  • Registration Accepted
  • Starting Point: Plymouth
  • Finish Point: Tavistock
  • Via:
  • Service Number: 1
  • Service Type: Normal Stopping
  • Effective Date: 06-SEP-2015
  • Other Details: Daily Service.

On an  other related note I have now added a Stagecoach Devon fleetlist alongside my existing Plymouth Citybus list which can be found HERE

First Devon & Cornwall is there too. They are still being updated as SC is a fairly new listing for me. I hope to get the allocations added as I go along.

56 comments:

  1. Sensible registrations from Stagecoach. It isn't in anyone's interest to continue in a 'bus war'. I'll be interested to see if Citybus respond.

    ReplyDelete
  2. Guess redundancy is on the cards for a lot of the drivers then. Stage Coach have basically paid £2.8m for a depot. Sad to see the 76 appear to be disappearing after so many years. The people of Callington will now get what they deserve. We'll see the buses gradually reduced back to 1 an hour, old tired buses used, no doubt the prices will also go up making them even more expensive than they already are.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Could somebody who actually uses buses (or drives them) in Callington, Saltash and Torpoint make a note of both Citybus and First fares now and again in, say, December?

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    2. First have been doing a return to plymouth for £5.00 from Callington for a long time. The last time I used WG/CityBus it was £6+ for the same journey. Cannot imagine they have lowered the price. Come December I would imagine the CityBus price will go up to £6.75 or £7 due to "rising" fuel costs.

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  3. The 2 seems to be a reduced frequency compare Firsts current 2; every 20min instead of 10.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. The current First 2 has two routes, one via Oreston the other via Pomflett Gardens, which combined give a 10 minute service. (why one route is not 2 and the other 2A is a mystery)
      The Stagecoach application for service 2 mentions 20 minute frequency on Each service, so this would appear to be the same.

      Delete
  4. I'm a regular user of services both first and citybus in Saltash, seems a missed opportunity if stagecoach decide not to run this route - first services 1/1A, especially peak mornings are often full and standing! NOTE TO CITYBUS: If stagecoach do decide not to run you'll need a bigger bus as your standard load + firsts load won't fit on a dart!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. The obvious answer would be double-deckers - Green Flash?

      Delete
  5. We don't know the PVRs involved of course but all of this would kind of suggest that Stagecoach has acquired rather more drivers than they actually need. I was (well, still am, really) rather sceptical of the megabus idea but something doesn't quite add up yet. The choice of route numbers for the two P&R routes also seem a bit strange - you'd have expected there to have been some commonality but that hasn't quite happened. Of course the GOLD may get run from Plymouth given it's having a new timetable from 7/9 but equally that might leave spare drivers at Torquay, unless there's already a shortage perhaps over there, who knows?!

    ReplyDelete
  6. Having another look ..... there are variations of the 1 (numbered X1), the 2 (numbered 2A), the 101 (numbered 100), the 90 (90A, 90B, 90C), 805 (804) and the 808 (809, 810). That explains the lack of commonality in the P&R numbers in my previous comment.

    Dartmouth P&R doesn't seem to be registered, but the it wasn't registered by First either - must be run as a contract hire to the council, I guess as it doesn't take fares.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. The Dartmouth PR seems to be the new 91 registration above.
      There was a note on an earlier news release that the P&R was operated by First Hampshire & Dorset so presumably had been registered by them? Quite how and why that came about I dont know!

      Delete
    2. Sorry, missed it as 91 above!

      Delete
    3. Dartmouth PR is run on behalf of the council, contract ends later this year

      Delete
  7. Has Stagecoach taken on the 'Western National' trading name - or has First taken that to Cornwall?

    If that list really is complete, then Stagecoach would seem not to be interested in the competitive 3 and 6, nor in going into Cornwall at all. It really does look like a very slender network of city services.

    R.I.P.:
    76, in continuous use since 1931, ex-Great Western Railway
    81, in continuous use since 1968
    83, in continuous use since 1931
    93, in continuous use since 1931, ex-Great Western Railway

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Personally I really can't get too excited over route numbers. Yes, historic numbers are 'nice' but at the end of the day, the route number is part of the brand and needs to be marketable and memorable, and there's no geting away from the fact that the lower the number the easier it is for people to remember. Otherwise it needs to be something significant or 'round' like 100, 200, 500, or a letter as in Exeter. Nationally Stagecoach has a history of using creative route 'numbers' like 'Fox', 'Red', 'Blue' etc but they do generally, seem to choose very low numbers or memorable numbers. Of course, people like Trent have taken the concept to a whole new level, so what Stagecoach has done is no real surprise, as disappointing as it may be for enthisiasts and historians.
      Western Greyhound, on the other hand, I always found incredibly confusing, everything started with a '5' but seperating your 585, 586, 587, 597 from the 558, 556, 594, for example, always seemed far more onerous than it need have been.

      Delete
    2. If the list of registrations by Stagecoach is anywhere finalised, I can't see why they bothered to buy out First's South Devon operations at all!

      I would have thought that at the very least they would have wanted to retain the Saltash and Torpoint services, and compete with Citybus on the former routes conceded to them by First, especially those to Plymstock and Barne Barton, otherwise what is Stagecoach's raison d'ĂȘtre for being in Plymouth?

      Delete
    3. Stagecoach's acquisition is strategic. They will contain GoAhead by having a presence in the city which is their defence against future expansion to the North and East because they have the ready made capacity to strike GoAhead.
      They will do battle for Tavistock because that it the area they don't want them in.
      The 2 is there because it passes the depot so makes for efficient crew workings.
      They won't bother with the West as you can see from their registrations. They will happily leave that to GoAhead and the same applies to the city, except the profitable and politically strategic park and rides.
      Undoubtedly GoAhead will be very alive to the capacity of Stagecoach to strike in the City.
      The only interesting thing to watch therefore will be the battle for the Tavistock corridor.
      We know Stagecoach are bringing 38 and Gold work into the depot which is more efficient.
      As for the Megabus doubters, watch this space!!!

      Delete
  8. This so called reliable source happens to a pcb employee, trust them to spread vicious lies & all cos there scared of losing the new bus war in Plymouth

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. If this is a reference to my post, then no - my source is NOT a Citybus employee.

      Delete
    2. why must there be a bus war........,try to think of the first drivers if stagecoach have done with registering the routes they dont need that amount of staff, and how they get the return on the investment is a puzzle. but hey what do i know.they must have it all worked out.

      Delete
    3. That's the problem with speculation isn't it.
      Grahame is right. Stagecoach need pretty much the same number of drivers that they are taking from First for their planned operation in Plymouth.
      When Stagecoach are ready they'll say what that is.

      Delete
  9. The new route 1 and X1 are on Traveline SW. The 1 is the old 86 via Mutley and Derriford and the X1 is the old 83 via the railway station and Milehouse. At first glance the new timetables look similar to the current ones. Strangely the X1 outbound timetable is titled Stoke - Tavistock and the inbound Whitchurch - Plymouth City Centre, although they only having 1 bus per day from each of these start points.

    ReplyDelete
  10. I would suspect that Stagecoach are just registering intermediate routes, like they did with Western Greyhound, it started as the X10, then changed to the 6/6a. I suspect we may see something like this, I would presume that some services will either be merged or taken over by Plymouth Citybus, Target, or Jacketts.

    ReplyDelete
  11. One big change vis the X1 (former 83) runs twice an hour but so does the number 1 (former 86) instead if 1 X 83 ad 2 X 86, so now 4 bus per hr instead of 3. heard rumours one of the 100/101 will now serve Woolwell (maybe the old 15 ??)

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  12. I think we all know graham and his blog are well resourced and he would not post "gossip" without reliable sources, bus drivers (although they might not admit it) all read this blog!

    ReplyDelete
  13. i was talking to a first driver this mor and he told me all routes are staying the samecouse coucail want let stage coach cut routes till 2 years time same has when city bus got bought out

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    Replies
    1. then he is wrong as we have already seen that routes are not staying the same. The council has no control whatsoever over what stagecoach may or may not run. Citybus only had the two year clause in because it was the council who were doing the selling.

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    2. Strewth Graham - well done for translating! Once again, spot on. The council sold PCB and could specify conditions for sale to protect jobs etc. They have no influence on the sale of First Devon.

      Do some people just make stuff up?

      Delete
    3. Well done Graham for setting those who know little of the industry correct.

      Of course, Stagecoach decision not to run into Cornwall might have something to do with the recent announcement of devolution, and powers over bus franchising being given to Cornwall County Council.

      Delete
  14. Personally I can't see why everyone is getting so hyped up about a so called "bus war", why do we need that? As long as there is a reliable bus service serving these areas then who cares who runs it? It's great that Stagecoach have waded in to take over the old First routes, but I don't know why so many people are so "anti- Citybus" and want Stagecoach to put up a fight? There are far worse bus companies out there! (try living in Wales for starters!)

    ReplyDelete
  15. I can not see how SC can keep all the staff of First on with such a small network ? OK they will probably run GOLD and X38 from Plymouth, and may be they could do something with THE Park and Rides to make them more lucrative but still way short i would think. If this is all SC are going to register now or indeed in the future, why did they not just buy the depot and not the routes/staff etc, then First would have had all the close down costs. This way all those costs are going to fall on SC.. It just does not make sense!!!!

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  16. My information is the Plymouth depot will handle vehicle painting and engineering when Exeter depot closes in favour of the new site at Matford.

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  17. It will be interesting as to what buses stagecoach are planning to Bring down to operate the services!

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  18. Could it be SC start with basic small network until they can get their new bus order in.. Early next year then expand a bit? They may only have the borrowed First buses to start with!!

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    Replies
    1. Unlikely - they will have large wage bills to pay from September, so need to get income rolling in quickly. It would be hugely expensive to wait for six months and have a proportion of drivers doing nothing, plus they'd lose the existing First passengers that they could inherit immediately if routes were dropped for six months.
      There's clearly a part of Stagecoach's plan which hasn't yet been made public. They won't be doing all of this without believing the numbers add up both financially and staff-wise.

      Delete
  19. I wouldn't be surprised if we see 1/X1/83/86 turn Gold by the end of this year / early next year.

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  20. Yeah agreed and the withdrawal of blue flash too I would say!

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    Replies
    1. Anything that needs to be registered would have to have been done by now if it is to start on the 7th September. Citybus have the DCC contract for Tavistock to Okehampton and also for the Sunday service on to Barnstaple, so they are going to have to run something to Tavistock to cope with those - although the withdrawal of the Sunday services is one of DCC's planned economies. It could be that there are still some Citybus registrations which have yet to appear in Notices and Proceedings. One obvious one would be stepping up the frequency of the Torpoint service - dropping from the current six buses an hour to two would be quite severe, not to mending evening services.

      Delete
  21. I can't see many new buses being transferred. I've heard that the 57 to Exmouth is going GOLD, so the 57 10 regs's are going to Paignton, maybe the tridents will then come to Plymouth? Some of the old Cooks Coaches Solo's etc. will probably be transferred over to, and possibly the RED P&R E400s which are being replaced by MMC's.

    ReplyDelete
  22. I suspect ‘Anon 18th July’ may have hit the point.

    An item in today's Cornish Times may be a clue as to why Stagecoach seem to be keeping out of Cornwall. As part of the Government's devolution plans, some areas are to be given extra powers including oversight of transport. This is something Manchester in particular has been asking for for a while now - they want to set up a ‘Transport for Manchester’ with similar franchising and unified ticketing arrangements as Transport for London. This, of course, is anathema to Brian Souter, who pulled out of London because there was not sufficient profit in franchised services nor room for operator-inspired innovation.

    Now it appears that similar powers are going to be devolved to Cornwall - and they will have a grant of £50 million to cover the introduction of County-wide bus-service franchising and the smart ticketing for buses, trains and ferries. For the buses this will mean that Cornwall Council will plan the network and fix timetables and fares, with a unified fare scale throughout Cornwall and complete inter-availability of tickets between operators. I am not sure how this works in London, but I imagine operators will no longer have to register services. In London the system is that all fares are passed to TfL- operators merely tender to run the service. TfL also specify what type of vehicle should be used - with, generally, few over seven years old. This is why both First and GoAhead can cascade from London buses which still have plenty of useful life left in them.

    I don’t know when all this is going to happen - but there would seem to be even more interesting times ahead.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. First pulled out of London in 2013, so have no stock to pass down there anymore (maybe this is a issue with all the non dda buses) and stagecoach have been back in London since 2010!

      Delete
    2. Transport for Greater Manchester (TfGM) has in fact existed since 2011.

      The average age of buses in London is about seven years, so to say that there are few around more than seven years old is wide of the mark.

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    3. Why do every one thinks the London model works every where .London is the capital and takes up nearly £1Billion in subsidies .I find buses better outside London because you dont get buses packed .I have lived in London its a nightmare during rush hour and the buses and underground are always on strike.

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    4. I am sorry I got my facts wrong about Stagecoach - yes, they are still operating in London. Did they pull out and then come back or have I just got it completely wrong? Either way, this blows my argument about the Cornwall services right out of the water!

      As to the age of buses in London, my understanding is that tenders will usually specify either new buses or buses not more than seven years old. Assuming I have not got this wrong too, that does, of course, mean that buses which are seven years old at the start of the tender period will be more than that by the end of it. Four years later? Five? Either way, this still means than perfectly serviceable buses are then surplus to requirements and will then need to be sold or, if it is one of the big groups, transferred elsewhere. I believe GoAhead work in a rather different way from First and Stagecoach in that they do not transfer buses within the group but rather have the subsidiary companies buy in buses form other subsidiaries - with the freedom to buy from elsewhere or to buy new if they wish.

      If it is First, rather than Stagecoach, which has pulled out of London - and if the reason was than they did not like franchising - then First Kernow will not be too keen on that happening in Cornwall.

      I was not aware that Transport for Greater Manchester already existed - but it does not at the moment have the powers that TfL does. They would certainly welcome the ability to design a co-ordinated network - especially as they have an extensive tram system and also quite a good network of suburban rail services.

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    5. Stagecoach did pull out of London, but then brought it back again! Fisrt then sold their London fleet, but I don't think it was that they didn't like the franchising, more a case of needing the money!

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    6. Yes, First pulled out of London because they were desperate for the cash to pay off debt. Stagecoach pulled out because they didn't like the franchise/tendering set-up but bought it back simply because they got it for a fraction of what what they'd sold it for. Mind you, it was on its knees by then and has now been turned around.

      Buses in London can do one or two tender periods. A tender period is five years with a potential two years added for 'good behaviour', so two tender periods could be anything between ten and fourteen years. The oldest buses up there are now around 51/02-plate.

      Go-Ahead London buses do get cascaded around the country. Stagecoach ones are now all leased, so won't generally get cascaded but there are still some older company-owned buses in London which is why some do currently get cascaded but it's generally to cover specific needs rather than a steadfast policy.

      Part of First's DDA problem arises from the period ten years ago when they were not buying sufficient new buses nationally to maintain an appropriate age profile and the vast majority of the new buses they did buy went into London. Then they sold London and no longer had access to all those buses which would otherwise have become mid-life cascades. That has left a massive hole across the provincial fleet and stuffed the original plans to meet DDA, giving them quite an imbalance in the fleet profile age-wise.

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    7. In answer to 'Anon 19th July 21.20', there are two reasons public transport in London can get very crowded:
      (i) the sheer size of the place, with 8 million people and a high level of commuting;
      (ii) the futility (and expense) of trying to drive a car there, especially in the rush hour.

      Cornwall (pop. half a million) is not comparable on both grounds. A better comparison might be with Northern Ireland where trains and almost all buses are run by the same (nationalised) operator - there is no franchising, but the network is centrally planned. I believe NI has the highest level of satisfaction with public transport of any part of the UK - I have used it and found it both reliable and pleasant to use.

      I have also used public transport in Manchester and found the tram system pretty good, but some parts of the bus network an illustration of why unfettered competition is not appropriate for a large city. I believe the number of buses along Oxford Road had to be restricted as the sheer quantity of them was causing the congestion that buses ought to be relieving. I believe all the services together provided better than a two-minute headway.



      Delete
  23. I've not seen the waitrose contract cancelled by first or registered by stagecoach, as it's a contract would it still appear on vosa?

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    Replies
    1. No, as no fares are charged. Anyone is free to operate a fares-free service without registering it. Sometimes the larger groups will operate a service fares-free for a few days if they want to get started and have missed the registration deadline - I think the competition people take a dim view of this, but I am not sure how much they can do about it.

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  24. Surely the comments about Cornish franchising and Stagecoach are spot on.............what is perplexing though is the apparent willingness of First to want to continue in Cornwall.
    Given the remoteness of the place and the population density.it is hard to see First Kernow ever producing margins required by First,but they seem very willing to give it a go............for the time being?????

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    Replies
    1. I don't think car ownership is all that high in the urban areas which are First Kernow's heartland - St. Austell, Truro, Falmouth, Camborne/Redruth and Penzance, which are all reasonably close together. They have few services in the more remote rural areas, such as North Cornwall. Take into account also that, for wage levels, of the 50 shire counties in England, Cornwall comes 50th. There is quite a bit of short-distance train travel in Mid- and West Cornwall, too - so public transport is both necessary and well-used.

      I suspect First's services generally carry good loads - and are not seasonal - so, with quite high fares and little opposition, almost certainly produce a good profit. The remoteness, of course, is from the rest of the First empire - once Plymouth is gone, the nearest operating centres will be Taunton and - and where? Dorchester? Weymouth?

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    2. I suggested on the 'Step Back' page that the location of the Cornish business and its inherent difficulties, summer peaks etc may indeed make First reconsider remaining there in due course. I still think it may well be the case and that was before the franchising issues were mentioned. Franchising will ramp up costs - it always does - but providing drivers can be TUPE'd to a franchise winner, First would always have the option of moving the buses out and selling the depot sites on for other uses or redevelopment. Camborne especially must be quite a valuable site given its town centre location. As the poster at 19:24 alludes to, you have to wonder who the heck else (apart from First just because they already have the facilities there) would want to get involved with franchising in Cornwall? Even if drivers' jobs were safeguarded via TUPE, the current buses and depots will not be. I'd imagine that the Council will expect to parcel things up across several different fanchisees, however that presupposes that (a) there will be lots of bidders and (b) there are bids at rates that the Council anticipates and deems value for money. I can forsee neither of those things working out like that. It will be fascinating to watch; plus there's the now the question of will Stagecoach continue with Bude and rebid for the Wadebridge area tender (which I assue is currently only short-term)?

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    3. I think that First can produce a reasonable profit in Cornwall so are likely to be committed to the area. They have just purchased the former WG depot so have a new large base there and will soon have the influx of repainted low floor buses from Plymouth and other areas of the country so will have a DDA compliant fleet before too long. Without and serious competition they have been able to pump up the fares a fair bit too so that will help.

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  25. If the London pattern is to be used in Cornwall, the services will be franchised route by route, not area by area, let alone one franchise for the whole of Cornwall. The CMA (or Competition Commission) has in the past been a bit concerned by First running not only a network of bus services but also nearly all the trains in Cornwall.

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  26. I getting realy worried couse if stage coach don't take on all off first routes in Plymouth
    this means citybus will be able to put fares up realy high for retrun or single and day tickets and just cut the seavice because there be only main bus company ,,u cant call jackets bus company ,or target travel realy

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  27. Franchising wont solve anything .The same operators will clean up .They have the depots and staff in place already.It would involve huge costs for a new company to start and set up what with all the politics of planning comittees .The bill will be on the taxpayer.

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