Saturday, 3 January 2015

Hello and Goodbye

The Beginning and End of Cornwall Busways
Running a bus company is nowhere near as easy as it might, at first, appear. fbb has been there, done that, got the tee-shirt and all the heartache as well. Cornwall Busways made their application for a Operator's Licence in March 2014. (Golly gosh, that's now last year!). They settled down to operating two routes from St Austell in competition with Western Greyhound. They ran North to places like Bugle and Roche and east to Par, taking in the big supermarkets on the way.

Their depot was here ...
... at "The Barn" and was, presumably, shared with an engineering company.

There is/was no web site, but Social Media in the from of a Facebook page was used to disseminate information. With repairs and "valeting" being contracted out, the company's ability to rrspond to problems was always in the hands of others.

They wore their corporate heart on their sleeve via Facebook and fbb has simply copied (with some stuff expurgated) a selection of messages over the last few months.

Interspersed is a selection of pictures, also ex Facebook. With their own bus stop flags, santa at the wheel and buses bedecked festively, the team have obviously been trying hard.
But! Unreliability eventually reached the ears of Beverley Bell, the harridan (and rightly so) Traffic Commissioner. The company has been called to an official "Enquiry" and, sensibly, decided to jump before Auntie Bev pushed.
18 September
Please note that Service 30 will be operated by a KP Cabs minibus today, due to essential maintenance being undertaken on one bus & the other receiving accident damage repairs.
6 October
Good Evening. As you know we had a breakdown this morning which meant that we have had to use the KP Minibus for the whole of today. Unfortuneately the fault is an electronic fault preventing the bus from selecting gears and our Engineering contractors are continuing to trace this fault. This therefore means that for the first part of the day tomorrow the same KP Minibus will be operating the service.
15 October
SERVICE 31 UPDATE: Thanks to efforts of our glazing contractor & our maintenance team, this service will be back running tomorrow (16/10/14) from its first journey off St Marys Road at 0727.
28 October
DISRUPTION - Service 31: Due to an emergency tyre change being undertaken on the bus operating this service, the 1410 St Austell to Par and its return journey will be unable to operate.
1 November
SERVICE 31 Please note the 1810 and 1910 have had to be cancelled due to a fault with the vehicle, our team will be working hard to return the vehicle to service on Monday.
4 November
SERVICE 31 GOOD NEWS The 31 will resume service tomorrow 5th November as the bus is fully functional and running well.
27 November
SERVICE 30 We apologise for the cancellation of the 0835 journey from St Austell Station. This was due to a minor repair being carried out on the bus operating this service. It has been rectified and will now slot back into the timetable at 0912 from Tregonissey Lane End, St Austell bound. 
6 December at 12:46
DISRUPTION Service 30 Unfortunately a number of journeys have had to be cancelled this afternoon as we have a fault with the bus operating this service. We are trying to rectify this fault as quick is possible, and hoping to have the service restored for the 1535 journey from St Austell.
6 December at 14:02
Disruption On Service 30. The service will remain suspended until Monday morning when the service will be operated by kp minibus while the airbag on the front of the bus is replaced.
8 December at 14:17
Service 30. The normal bus has resumed service. We are sorry for any inconvenience caused by the breakdown of the bus and the minibus replacement. Our thanks to those who assisted in supplying parts and our maintenance contractor who repaired the fault as a priority.
10 December at 08:06
Service 31 disruption Due to a snapped windscreen wiper linkage the 0825 par to st austell and the 0910 st austell to par will not be running

11 December at 17:46
Service 30 cancellation. The following journies are cancelled tonight due to an emergency repair on a water leak. The 1835. And 1935 st Austell to Bugle and tthe 1759 and 1859 from bugle to st Austell.
18 December at 10:05
DISRUPTION Service 31: Due to a fault with the vehicle scheduled to operate this service, the 31 is suspended until further notice. We are working as quickly as possible to rectify this fault but advise passengers to use alternative services in the meantime.
18 December at 20:25
We are sorry to say that the first journies of the day on Service 31 on Friday will remain suspended while the bus repairs are completed. The suspension system fault is near repaired which had become a hazard to our passengers in particular during damp weather. We will post on here when we are able to resume Service 31. 
27 December at 09:38
It is with regret that we advise you that Cornwall Busways services will cease on 31 December 2014, with the exception of a special timetable on service 30 on 2 January 2015 only. After this date, Cornwall Busways will surrender its Operating Licence and will cease trading. This action is taken as a result of a continuing dispute with the West Of England Traffic Commissioner.
30 December
We regret to advise that owing to a vehicle issue with the Service 30 the remaining Operation of this service has to be suspended due to the discovery of an oil leak which prevents the vehicle operating. This also means that we have to advise that the Friday special service will also not operate. The ability to repair is further hampered by the Christmas shutdown of parts suppliers to us.
What does appear strange (with the caveat that no details are available) is that, just up the road, another company has struggled with reliability and even withdrawn a batch of journeys ...
... still withdrawn despite new owners. Apparently this operator has escaped big Bev's wrath.

fbb was planning a trip to Snozzle, scheduled for Monday 5th, to experience First Bus' new routes in the area. Sadly a ride with Cornwall Busways will no longer be possible. The proposed schedule is a follows:-
The bus from Morrisons to Bodmin Parkway is run by Western Greyhound, hopefully! Mrs fbb, fine fellow that she is, has agreed to provide "kiss'n'ride" from Seaton to Axminster and return.

More on the new routes next week.

 Next pointed blog : Sunday 4th January 2015 


  1. I thought Sarah Bell was Western TC with Beverly patrolling the NW?

  2. Correct on both counts.

    Based on what happened to an operator at the other side of the country CB surrendering their O licence does not necessarily mean they will get out of facing the music in front of Ms (Sarah) bell.