Last Two Weeks
Notices posted on VOSA over the last two weeks:
St Ives Bus Co 2 [PH1053866.015] Trenwith Shuttle
- PH1053866/15 -
- ST. IVES BUS CO. LTD, 4 ROSEWALL TERRACE, ST. IVES, TR26 1QJ
- Variation Accepted:
- Operating between Trenwith Car Park and Trenwith Car Park
- given service number 2
- effective from 04-Dec-2015.
- To amend Timetable.
First Kernow 101 [PH0004983.360] St Austell Eden Project
- PH0004983/360 -
- FIRST SOUTH WEST LIMITED, UNION STREET, CAMBORNE, TR14 8HF
- Variation Accepted:
- Operating between St Austell Trinity Street and Eden Project/ Luxulyan School
- given service number 101
- effective from 13-Dec-2015.
- To amend Timetable
Previously announced changes coming up in the next two weeks :
St Ives Bus Co 6 [PH1053866.022] Higher Stennack Porthmeor Beach
- ST. IVES BUS CO. LTD,
- 4 ROSEWALL TERRACE, ST. IVES, TR26 1QJ
- Variation Accepted:
- Operating between St Ives Car Park, Higher Stennack and St Ives, Porthmeor Beach
- given service number 6
- effective from 02-Nov-2015.
- To amend Timetable.
- No new timetable found, no real surprise there
First Kernow fleet news
It seems that repaints have slowed down a bit. 69218 69223 69226 are the latest reports I have seen
There is a nice post on their Facebook page at the moment giving some more background to their brand consultation:
Thank you to everyone for all the feedback and comments so far. We're still open for further comments feedback and suggestions, but now is a good time to pick up on some of the general feedback and reply to some of it.
We're very conscious that some customers have had to contend with some cancellations and disruption over the Summer and we're really sorry about this. We've struggled a bit for staff since Western Greyhound suddenly went into receivership on 13 March. We had to take a view on how much service we could run across the summer season with both the staff and buses we could muster. We could have played really safe but took the decision to operate as much as we possibly could manage with the expected staffing and vehicles available to us, and that has been challenging.
As well as finding drivers, it's fair to say that some who joined us from Western Greyhound drifted off across the summer, probably having decided that our style of operation wasn't for them.
Now we're into the Winter timetable the staffing situation has improved, and we're busy recruiting for the future. It takes about 4 months from starting to advertise for new drivers until they are working alone, so this is an ongoing process. It was also a fair few years since we had operated in the Newquay area, and we only really now have experience of summer traffic delays and running times, so we'll be looking to use this experience to make our timetables more robust for next summer.
On the vehicle front, we are now in the process of changing over around 90 vehicles with newer low floor ones and that is a bit of a challenge as we bed the newer ones in, but will provide better buses in the medium term.
So onto the branding...
Firstly, buses have a hard life, and generally need reprinting every 3 to 4 years, so a fair number would be due a repaint over a relatively short timescale. In truth many are long overdue in Cornwall, so we're not looking at lots of unnecessary cost
One of the key reasons though to adopt a new brand s d colours is to better market our buses to new customers and visitors. By investing a bit of money in better marketing we get more customers like any business. More passengers travelling means a sustainable business that can invest in better buses, more buses etc., so it's as much about increasing the viability of our business as spending money on painting. In terms of a new brand, we aren't planning on suddenly reprinting the fleet though. We see the initial rebranding and colours being applied to new and refurbished buses, which would probably introduced where possible on a route by route basis. It would be part of a plan to give specific routes a bigger overhaul, including things like the information at the bus stops, and looking to improve the timetables themselves on the route.
So finally for now - the concept bus...
...we've considered all sorts of colours over the past year. Black and white are not easy colours to keep clean. Metallic colours are more difficult to apply but also more time consuming and specialist to repair.
We've been encouraged by all sorts of people to use green, but we're still very open to which greens, what colours could give a contrast and the layout.
Thanks for reading all of this and please feel free to continue to offer your thoughts...
Kernow Fox on Facebook
IMPORTANT NOTICE TO OUR FOLLOWERS.
Many of you will be wondering when Kernowfox will commence operations.
As some will know The Government has announced that from 2018 Cornwall Council will be able to Franchise Bus Services in the county. In effect this will put Cornwall onto the same basis as London in that commercial services will be abandoned and the County will specify the services and issue contracts only for those services it deems necessary and for which it has funding.
The main issue here for us is that if we spent the next 3 years developing a network in Cornwall it could be for nothing and our investment and work would be lost maybe to another operator. Any investment in new vehicles which would require years to recover the capital cost would also be lost.
From the passenger point of view this is bound to lead to 3 years of less than needed development of the Cornish Bus network. When the Council does franchise there is no guarantee that the existing successful services in the county would be retained or that there would be an improvement. Indeed most of the cuts to the network have been the result of Council spending cuts of supported services.
We would reiterate that this is NOT just a Kernowfox issue it affects all bus operators within Cornwall- However Kernowfox was at a point where it had to take a decision whether to invest in Cornwall's services- we had delayed that decision because following the demise of Western Greyhound some settling of the replacement network of First Kernow, Plymouth Citybus and Stagecoach South West was deemed right and needed for the first year.
The franchising announcement happened as we were considering which services would have been introduced. Following the announcement of Franchising we have decided it is not prudent to spend our resources unless we can be sure of a reasonable chance of making a return.
Passengers should now consider if they think the bus services will remain as good as they are (and we know that in some areas they are far from frequent) under Council control or whether the present system is more desirable. Information on those services the council supports can be found in the front of First's current Timetable booklet, There are a good number of First Services which are commercial and those services could be changed reduced in frequency etc under these measures.
For now at least Kernowfox will not invest in developing a Cornish network, and for that we are deeply disappointed.
I am sure that this will come as a shock to so many of you out there…