There’s much of interest to report on both the north and the south Devon coasts.
Stop teasing! “We have something very special coming your way net week”
First currently offers hourly Paignton - Ivybridge - Plymouth X80 and the slow 180 Plymouth - Ivybridge, the latter serving more of Ivybridge’s expanding housing, every two hours. Stagecoach has the two-hourly X38 Plymouth - Ivybridge - Exeter.
So, what’s the motive?
- Well, Citybus has limited opportunity to expand within the city itself. It’s already done what it can, including both new competition with First’s Ugobus and in strengthening its own position where the dwindling Ugobus has or had attacked.
- Ivybridge is 11 miles from Plymouth, just 13 minutes from Marsh Mills and, with a population of 12,000, it’s nowadays an overspill suburb of Plymouth but with greenery in between. Its population focuses on either Exeter or Plymouth but Plymouth is the closer. In fact, more people live in Ivybridge than its 9,000 Plymouth suburb neighbour Plympton (and Ivybridge is still growing). Plympton carries 11 buses an hour. Why, then, shouldn’t Ivybridge support the half-hourly 45, even with distance decay?
- And get a hot sunny school holiday day and it’s nice to see full buses but that doesn’t always mean there’s room for local traffic.
First’s representation of its X80 is a little odd. The service departs Plymouth for Paington where there’s an EU-hours-busting “guaranteed connection”, at Paington onwards for Torquay, but this is shown on the timetable in the column immediately to the *left* of the incoming Plymouth to Paington leg. And, aside from Paington, Preston and Totnes, there are no town names mentioned at all. No “Plymouth”, “Ivybridge” or “Torquay”. So, where exactly is “Pontoon”, “Football Ground”, “Church Green”, etc? Something to do with Traveline, perhaps?
To start with, Citybus appears to operate the service with self-contained vehicles so, with a round trip journey time of 65 minutes, the bus rests for 25 out of every 90 minutes. This will allow some imagination in terms of the vehicles and their branding. To kick off the service this will be no bad thing but expect it to link to the Citybus’ Saltash (Cornwall) service in due course giving even more destinations for Ivybridge passengers.
First Pulls Out
First Devon & Cornwall has now cancelled its North Devon operations after last operations on 23rd September 2012 and Stagecoach Devon has registered some replacements from the following day. So now we know. Meanwhile, Western Greyhound has amended its 599 Bude - Okehampton - Exeter on and from Wednesday 19th September. Says Western Greyhound, “This will hopefully give passengers a valuable few days to realign their travel arrangements”. Or maybe this is to get in before Stagecoach, who’s registered a parallel X9 First replacement every two hours between Bude, Okehampton and Exeter.
i Plymothian Transit has more on the 45 and matters Plymouth & Devon