30 March 2016

Tickets to ride

A new bus ticket has been announced for Devon:

A new scheme is being launched next month (April) offering unlimited day travel on most buses throughout Devon on just one bus ticket.

Devon County Council has teamed up with a number of bus operators to introduce the Devon Day ticket.

The ticket entitles the holder to one day’s travel on local bus services of all participating local bus companies within the Devon Day Bus area, which includes Plymouth and Torbay.

Councillor Stuart Hughes, Devon County Council Cabinet Member for Highway Management, said: “The Devon Day ticket gives passengers the freedom and flexibility to use most local bus services in Devon. This scheme is a passport to Devon – it’s a much easier and cheaper way to explore the county by bus. Tickets can be bought from the driver of any of the participating services and they are then available to use at any time on the day of issue.”

Initially, the Devon Day Bus will run for one season from Friday 1 April until the end of September 2016. (why?)

The bus companies taking part in the initiative are

  • Axe Valley Mini Travel,
  • Country Bus,
  • Dartline,
  • Dartmouth Steam Railway and River Boat Company,
  • Filers Travel,
  • Hatch Green Coaches,
  • Local Link,
  • Plymouth City Bus,
  • Stagecoach South West,
  • Tally Ho,
  • Target Travel, and
  • Turners Tours.

Tickets are also available beyond the Devon County boundary on Stagecoach services to Saltash on services 2, 2A, to Bude on service 6, 6A, 85, 217, 219, 319, to Lyme Regis on service 9A, and to Taunton on service 20.

Dartline services to Dulverton on service 398, to Taunton on service 387,
Plymouth Citybus to Saltash (A38/Liskeard Road, or Carkeel Roundabout) on services 10, 11, 11A, 12, to Torpoint (H.M.S Raleigh) on services 70, 70A, 70B, 71 and to Gunnislake (Square/Cornish Inn) on service 79/79A.

Valid Devon Day tickets will also be accepted on Devon County Council supported services operated by Taw & Torridge – Services 654, 657, 658, 696, 873 and Redwoods services 397, 681, 682.

On services operated by Taw and Torridge and Redwoods, Devon Day tickets will be accepted for travel, but you will not be able to purchase the ticket from these companies.

The Devon Day Bus will cost £8.50 for adults, £5.70 for children (age 5 to 15 inclusive) and £17 for a family (maximum two adults and three children).

For more information visit https://www.journeydevon.info/devon-day-ticket/

On Twitter follow @journeydevon or email devonbus@devon.gov.uk

For timetable enquiries and journey planning across the South West go to www.traveline.info or contact Traveline (call charges apply) on 0871 200 2233.

Devon News

In Cornwall of course you still have the Ride Cornwall ticket

Unlimited travel on most bus and all train services

The Ride Cornwall ticket is a one-day rover ticket that gives the holder a day's unlimited travel on all rail and most bus services within Cornwall and between Cornwall and Plymouth, after 9am Monday-Friday and at any time on Saturdays, Sundays and Bank Holidays.

Tickets cost £10 (adult), £7.50 (child) and £20 (up to 5 people but no more than 2 adults). For more information view the First Group Ride Corwall. (note that this link does not work this morning!)

Then in Plymouth we still have The Skipper

Plymouth City Council, in partnership with all of the city’s bus companies, have agreed to offer the residents of Plymouth a multi operator day bus ticket, which will enable them to make as many bus changes on their journey as they like, regardless of the bus operator, for a whole day (from the start of the service until 2am the following day).

You can purchase this ticket on the bus (only), from any of the participating bus operators, namely:

  • Plymouth Citybus
  • Go Cornwall Bus
  • Stagecoach South West
  • Target Travel
  • Jackett’s Coaches
  • Tally Ho
  • St Budeaux Taxibus

The area of validity for the Plymouth SKIPPER day ticket will include the whole of Plymouth including Torpoint, Saltash, Roborough, Langage, the built up areas of Ivybridge, Wembury and Heybrook Bay.

The southern boundary between Ivybridge and Deep Lane Junction will be the A38 and therefore include Lee Mill and Smithaleigh, and then include the area of Sherford down to the A379.

The northern boundary will include all communities served by the existing 59 route including the whole of Roborough.

  • £4.20 for an adult day ticket
  • £3.10 for a child day ticket (up to and including 18 years)

The ticket is valid on all services, except those listed below, and is valid from the start of service until 2am the following day. The ticket is valid only for travel on journeys with a start point and an end point within the area of validity.

It is also planned to have week and month Skipper tickets available later in the year, hopefully for the start of 2017. Whilst this may be good news for some, it sadly replaces the excellent green travel pass that the council operate and is available through particpating employers. I have relied on this pass for over twenety years jnow so it will take a bit of getting used to as I will have to purchase it and keep it up to date whereas my current pass just gets paid out of my wages and I dont have to think about it. . I also expect it to cost quite a bit more than the current pass too, but I will wait and see!


  1. Is the Devon ticket not the same as the explorer one. £7.50 stagecoach £8.50 all operators and cover Devon and Cornwall?

    1. Only the Explorer + tickets (£8.50) are excepted on both Stagecoach/Plymouth Citybus services. The Explorer ticket which is £7.50 can only be used on Stagecoach services.

    2. No it's not. The £7.50 Explorer will henceforth be a Stagecoach-only ticket and no longer accepted on services of other operators, even where these are supported by Devon County Council.

      Also, the combined £8.50 Stagecoach/Plymouth CityBus/Go Cornwall Bus day ticket is being replaced by the new Devon Day - which means effectively it will no longer cover any Go Cornwall Bus services in Cornwall (apart from Torpoint, Saltash and Gunnislake, as mentioned in the article).

    3. The Stagecoach Explorplus and City Bus Devon Explorer ticket does/(soon did, as they are being withdrawn from 31st March 2016) cost £8.50 and was available all year round and could be used on the new Falcon service as far as Taunton. This new ticket is only available until 30th September and whilst it can be used on other Devon bus operators services, it cannot be used on the Falcon for any journey. Well this is how I understand the restrictions to be?

  2. The Stagecoach Explorer is already valid on ALL Devon tendered services by any operate and Falcon and their group ticket is only £15. Now 5 adults travelling together will have to pay £42.50 for almost the same validity without Falcon so that is a HUGE price rise for some. I am not a fan.

    1. But theb £15 explorer on stagecoach is still valid on all their Devon services including Plymouth plus Falcon to Exeter and Taunton

    2. But if the group sticks to Stagecoach services only, they will continue to pay £15.

  3. PCB appear to be running some Scanias on the 70/32 now

    1. Yes they are. They are also running them on the 71 too.

  4. Anon @13:29, may I suggest you try looking at the Devon CC website?

    It says there:-
    "Devon County Council supported services will no longer accept Stagecoach Explorer tickets, except on services operated by Stagecoach.
    The joint Stagecoach and Plymouth Citybus Explorer Plus ticket is withdrawn and replaced by the Devon Day ticket, which is the same price and valid on most services."

    1. The DCC Devon Day ticket cant be used on Falcon or all of Go Cornwall services, whereas the previous Citybus and Stagecoach joint operators tickets could!

    2. It should be pointed out and as mentioned in another comment here, this new ticket is valid on some parts of the Go Cornwall routes. I remember a short while back, during a comments discussion that developed for the Stagecoach/Citybus "multi operator" tickets, a poster stating that these tickets would soon be withdrawn. How right that person was.

  5. Yes it is a price rise for several categories. However it is clearer for the general public and Devon are no longer supporting / promoting a Stagecoach product (Stagecoach explorer on Devon contract services of any operator). I notice Buses of Somerset is not participating out of Tiverton or Axminster.

    The Devon Day ticket will match the long standing Wiltshire Day Rover and the newer Discovery ticket (East Hants, Surrey and Sussex) and I guess others.

    1. I agree it is clearer but it is only currently for the summer so what happens in October? Also it is clearer yet more expensive with less validity than the old Explorer + Citybus deal so not exactly a step forwards and potentially from October a HUGE step backwards. The Wiltshire day Rover covers ALL services whereas the Devon one doesn't include Jacketts or Buses of Somerset or First Dorset to name some missing operators and so is not the same at all. Also the Wiltshire Day Rover didn't exist in a similar form before it was created and isn't a temporary promotion unlike this ticket. It's a very poor imitation and also Discovery covers a much larger area for the same price and Discovery replaced the Explorer which was both cheaper and had much better validity and so again wasn't an improvement on the previous offerings. Another difference with Discovery is whereas Devon are introducing this ticket following massive service cuts being announced, the Discovery was launched accompanied by service enhancements to encourage Sunday travel. I agree groups could stick with the Explorer but they then lose it's previous comprehensive service coverage as a result of this ticket. This is a big step backwards and a massive missed opportunity as they could have gone with a Ride Devon ticket including trains or better still a Ride Devon and Cornwall ticket (kind of like the old Keywest!)

  6. September end? September is not mentioned on Journey Devon website or on the leaflet, but in the Council press release. I presume the product is intended to be permanent, but with a review in September to alter details if required. I always thought it odd that council contractors had to honour a competitors commercial product with no reciprocal arrangement. The council were effectively subsidising Stagecoach commercial operations. Not so bad when First's ticket was also included. It will probably now raises some extra money towards Devon contract services. A Ride Devon ticket would be nice, but that involves the First Group who are not party to this ticket. A £10 Devon day rail ticket does exist as does the Sunday Rover. Perhaps one step at a time.

  7. The Discovery ticket in the south east also excludes certain (smaller) operators, usually either because the operator in question thinks that they will lose revenue, or because their ticketing system is not regarded as secure enough by other operators to accept their tickets. There are other exceptions - TfL doesn't participate for example, which excludes quite a few links in Surrey.

    Contrary to K's comment, Discovery validity exceeds that of Explorer, which is I suppose an argument for a higher price. However, the vast majority of passengers are not enthusiasts spending almost all day riding buses, and Anonymous@1132 is quite right that it is clearer for the general public (and all credit to Devon for spelling it out on their website - a complete contrast to the on-line publicity for Ride Cornwall, which a quick search suggests (a) is not advertised by First Bus at all (b) Plymouth Citybus don't mention it is valid on First buses (c) GWR merely state valid "on most bus services", but (d) National Rail Enquiries shows both bus operators).

    Let's hope that all the operators involved have set up their ticket machines to issue the ticket and instructed their staff on what to accept - unfortunately it is in the nature of such tickets that they often have problematic acceptance, even amongst major operators (see the article in Buses on trying to buy a Ride Cornwall ticket form PCB).

    Shame about losing a ticket valid in both Devon and Cornwall though.

    1. Contrary to your statement the Wilts and Dorset Explorer version particularly before it was watered down towards the end was valid from Exeter to Ramsgate and up to Weybridge and beyond on almost every operator, even Abellio Surrey took it. I used it regularly from Exeter starting on the X53 or 31 from Axminster (it was also valid on the First bus from Exeter to Axminster the short time it ran) and ending up in Woking or Chichester. I agree at the end it was watered down dramatically but for a while you could literally travel on almost any bus across the South of England for £6 (excluding First in Somerset although the X4/X3 and X39 did take it). I agree each version of it seemed to have different validity and cost different amounts so you had to pick carefully which operator you bought it from but it was by far more comprehensive than even the new expanded Discovery which doesn't include even include First in Hampshire or Bluestar let alone More or Salisbury Reds. Can Coast Hopper confirm one company on Discovery that didn't accept Explorer except Chalkwell and Big Lemon which hardly make up for the operators lost. Discovery is better than nothing just like the Devon ticket but both are inferior to what came before. I do however agree the Ride Cornwall ticket is very poorly publicised by Firstbus although GWR are very good with leaflets at Stations although guards find it a challenge to issue often.

  8. Discovery was introduced for travel across Sussex and East Hampshire (later extended to cover Kent). I'm not sure that it was ever intended to replace Explorer as such, although operators in Sussex tended to drop Explorer as a result. It certainly wasn't launched to cover FH&D and GSC areas and has never been a full Hampshire ticket which is presumably why First and operators further west don't take it. Most operators still offer their own day tickets so you can still buy Savers, Metrovoyagers, Day Riders, Red Riders, Explorers (Stagecoach East Sussex/Kent) etc at cheaper prices.

    Operators who take Discovery but didn't take Explorer? Stagecoach.

    A Solent Go ticket covers most operators in (south) Hampshire. Surely lines have to be drawn somewhere?

    Is anyone, even enthusiasts. *really* going to miss not being able to use a Devon Day ticket on Jacketts or Buses of Somerset?

    1. Stagecoach took and sold Explorers until the last year or so of it.Indded they were the biggest sellers of Explorers.Evrn when Stagecoach South withdrew the Stagecoach in Kent bit still issued and took them. I agree the Explorer validity was never going to last (although it did for many years) but to say Discovery validity exceeds that of Explorer at its fullest is just wrong.

  9. Although Wilts & Dorset staff info stated their Explorers were valid on Stagecoach South East, the latter's internal info stated the opposite, citing acceptance only of Arriva, Brighton & Hove and Metrobus Explorers. Stagecoach South's version was more than 50% dearer than the South East equivalent, otherwise the two tickets looked identical when presented to another operator.

    In summary, there were several products called Explorer, but with varying conditions and acceptance. Discovery is at least uniform and straightforward, issued and accepted by every operator (a contrast to Explorer, where smaller ops had to accept but could not issue in many counties). You can add Autocar and Go-Coach's commercial routes to the list that did not take Explorer but do accept Discovery, both providing a couple of useful network links.


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