07 January 2020

Cornwall2020: The other side

With Plymouth Citybus taking on such a massive amount of work in Cornwall in April, the existing operators are going to have to make changes too. The big one to watch out for is of course First South West Ltd – Cornwall by KERNOW. I see some enthusiasts thinking that with First seemingly still looking to dispose of its bus operations that this would see them just throwing in the towel. I for one am pretty sure that's not going to happen!

KERNOW have announced that they have a plan…


“A new decade and a new vision. As the world and Cornwall change so must we. Our Cornwall bus and coach business will soon be launching our new plan to grow and adapt our commercial business..”

The current team at Kernow have made a big difference to the business in Cornwall which for many years seemed to be the unwanted and unloved corner of First UK buses. Although there are still plenty of older buses in Cornwall there is a very strong fleet identity across several ‘brands’ with more new buses than Cornwall has ever had. They certainly dont appear ready to let that hard work go to waste.

Go Ahead / Citybus have a massive job on their hands to get the new operation up and running for the 1st April with a lot of buses and even more staff to find and house in the next few months. C by K wont be sitting back and just watching them roll in.

As their Commercial Director Marc Huws says

“Always expect the unexpected”

Things are going to get very interesting this year in Cornwall.


  1. Marc used to be with GSC & Southern Vectis and was very good during his time with both. Not surprised C by K have been thriving under him

    1. I thought he was sacked from GSC?

  2. First Kernow to expand into east Cornwall towards Plymouth perhaps?

    1. I doubt they have the ability to enter another bus war with Plymouth Citybus in an area they have already given up and lost in. Even stagecoach are taking caution in Plymouth and they are usually very competitive!

  3. I can see this being a disaster for both Cornwall Council and Citybus. First will only launch commercial services in competition on all Go Cornwall subsidised routes making profit meaning subsidies withdraw from Go Ahead. This will leave them with non profit routes miles off their network added with expense of extra outstations. Not good for Go Ahead i think

  4. First are in the process of disposing of their bus operation in the UK. Eventually Go Ahead and/or another bus operator will be able to exploit Cornwall's bus network for what it's worth. If they choose to do so.


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