06 April 2023

Bigbury Bus Blues

Back in January Tally Ho! Coaches announced they were giving up a few of their services due to lack of drivers:

Devon County Council have been responding to the news that Tally Ho are giving up four bus routes as a result of their inability to find enough drivers.

The routes are SH160 is the Kingsbridge town service and the SH162 runs between Kingsbridge, Loddiswell, Thurlestone and Hope Cove, the SH612 Mothecombe to Lee Mill Tesco (Tuesdays only) and the SH875 Bigbury to Plymouth bus station (Fridays only). A spokesperson for Devon County Council told us: “We can confirm that Tally Ho has handed back two contracts for four subsidised bus services (services which they currently support financially) with effect from March 31 2023. https://www.kingsbridge-today.co.uk/news/possible-timetable-changes-to-bus-routes-affected-by-non-renewal-of-contracts-589032

This was then followed up by the BBC a few days ago…

Users of a discontinued bus service between a village and a city have criticised it being shelved.

The weekly 875 from Bigbury on Sea to Plymouth was operated by Tally Ho for Devon County Council until Friday, but the company has handed back the contract, blaming a lack of drivers. Former passengers said the 20-mile (35km) link had been lifeline. The council said it had not been able to find another operator, but had put in place some alternatives.

Tally Ho said it had "advertised extensively" for drivers for a year but it had "not been able to solve the problem". It said: "In recent months, the pressures have become intolerable and we simply cannot continue. There is no other reason for our decision." Devon County Council said it had not been able to find another operator, but alternatives were in place, including a taxi scheme to the town of Modbury, where passengers could travel on to Plymouth.


Tally Ho! Coaches Ltd

 Licence Route Start Point End Point Effective Notes
PH1081198.003 875 Bigbury On Sea Plymouth Royal Parade 31-Mar-2023 cancelled. Replaced by Oakleys Coaches from 7th April 2023

The replacement service is registered from tomorrow 7th April although as it runs Tuesdays only it will be next week.

Paul Simon Oakley

 Licence Route Start Point End Point Effective Notes
PH1091418.010 875 Bigbury on Sea, Marine Drive Lee Mill, Tesco 07-Apr-2023 Tuesdays only, one journey in each direction


The lack of drivers seems to be a bigger threat to rural bus services than actual funding at the moment.

Today we have a few more service changes registered:

Taw & Torridge Coaches Ltd

  • A small change for 658 which sees the return journey running 40 minutes later on Tuesdays.
 Licence Route Start Point End Point Effective Notes
PH0004727.011658West Buckland, Opposite Village HallBarnstaple Bus Station18-Apr-2023Timetable variation


A2B Newquay Travel Ltd

  • This was a flexible 24 hours 7 days a week service registered back in 2011, with no changes since. I suspect this may be a tidy up exercise unless it really has been running all this time?
 Licence Route Start Point End Point Effective Notes
PH1088109.002 A2B Flexibus Newquay St Austell 06-Apr-2023 Cancellation

Stagecoach Devon Ltd

  • Another cancelled service, this time an annual event registration for Devon County Show which was first registered back in 2011
 Licence Route Start Point End Point Effective Notes
PH1020951.170 59 Exmouth Bus Station Westpoint 18-May-2023 Cancellation (was a annual event registration for Devon County Show only)

Feel free to click through for more details, although only the 657 has anything of any interest to see!

Have a Happy Easter everyone.

Next posting hopefully on Saturday


  1. It looks like the 160 and 162 are continuing to operate, minus the Saturday service but otherwise unchanged. Tally Ho!'s website has these timetables on now.

    1. Yes it does seem so. I must admit I missed that!

    2. Yes Tally Ho must have won the new reduced joint weekday contract after ditching the old six day one

  2. Why does Devon County Council mention the taxi alternative but not the new Oakley replacement bus? Is it hoping that nobody uses it so it can do away with it and save money? And what replacement is there for the coastal bit of the axed 612 from Mothecombe Graham, it appears not mentioned & I can't see anything about these changes on the county council service changes area of its website?

    1. Sadly the Devon bus site which supposedly deals with bus service changes rarely seems to get updated these days. Its gone down hill over the last few years. As many of the operators dont publish anything on their local services its not easy keeping track of anything!

    2. I too noticed that the North Devon 301 change from Filers to Stagecoach with a different timetable failed to get a mention on DCC service changes, so hard for the public to keep up.

  3. The old service with Tally Ho gave the Bigbury customers nearly 3 hours in Plymouth. The Oakley's service gives them 22 minutes.

    1. It serves out of town Lee Mill Tesco instead!


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