Wednesday 11 June 2014

212 Pages - a Whole Lotta Timetables [1]

Southampton : Very corporate First A5 booklet
Yeovil : multicoloured but still First lettering and branding. Still A5.
Dorset : First "standard" again, but now one third A4, slimline.
Of course the UDI of Taunton brought something very different:-
More Southern Vectis than First.

So what would Cornwall (First Kernow) produce?
Still just about a product of corporate First, but on the verge of a Buses of Somerset UDI. Once inside, the network map is completely new; too big to blog but herewith a small extract.
This is looking more like Ray Stenning, Southern Vectis and Buses of Somerset; more like a move towards Taunton-style.

So we have a slimline book; a fat slimline book (if such a contradiction is possible), a tome of 212 pages (including covers) including every "normal" First Kernow service. Not included is the vast collection of Truro College routes, numbered in the 200s ...
... although these are on the First Devon, Dorset and Cornwall web site.

A glimpse inside reveals details of fares, now simplified drastically.
Return fares are standardised at 1.5 times the single ...
... with both single and return tickets valid for any length of journey including changes of bus. That means that Lands End to St Austell, a distance of 104 miles (return) would cost just £7.50; three new farthings a mile! Bargain! Mind you, to offset that cheapo possibility, it will cost you £2 single or more to the local shops to avoid the rain. OUCH! And if your journey creeps one stop over a boundary you will be stung for an extra pound. OUCH again! Helpfully, returns are now valid for five days. 

Day rovers are pricey; fbb thinks £7.50 (the maximum return fare) would be more attractive for the one day version.
Family versions offer good value by comparison.

So that's the positive; an overview which suggests that First means business in an area where they were written off a few years ago. Tomorrow we look a little more closely at the book's essential innards.

Here things are not so good. But, yet again, fbb has to declare an interest. A few weeks ago, your chubby blogger was invited to join a small and beautifully formed team of bodies offering advice to the Management on publicity matters (printed and on-line). This involvement came late in the production cycle for the Cornwall Book, so fbb is safe in reviewing this particular edition from an outsiders point of view.

The plan was to get this edition out to the customers then set about improving the presentation for next time, according to the cover an edition due on 6th September. fbb and his colleagues had better "get their skates on.".
Hmm; perhaps not the best concept for fbb!!

Nearly forgot. The new book is FREE, gratis and for nothing. What a refreshing approach to bus publicity; lets hope it has the desired commercial effect and encourages more bus travel in the Principality (or is it a Dukedom?).
Following blogs on Monday (here) and yesterday (here), fbb received a letter via e-mail from a blog reader. It's worth a read:-
fbb will  make the time to follow this up and no doubt a further blog will follow in due course. Thanks Petras409 for the comments. fbb will also forward the blogs to Transport for London and the office of the Mayor.
 Next bus blog : Thursday 12th June 


  1. Looks like the FirstDay South West, "allowing travel on any First bus in the South West!" is still available to buy on buses in, for example, Bristol and Weston-super-Mare for £7 BUT under 'Bridgwater', 'Taunton' and 'Somerset' the day fare is £10 for Somerset only which equates to the situation in Kernow.

  2. Bob... what happens in Weston Super Mare where you can buy a FirstDay South West on either Buses of Somerset or First Bristol... Should I hop on a Bristol 1 to buy it then jump off and on to a Somerset 21 to head south?!

  3. Beat value is Ride Cornwall, which allows travel on First and Western Greyhound, plus all trains Inc to Plymouth, all for £10. Why buy a First day ticket?

  4. Exactly Steve. I'm going to Cornwall with my wife and baby in September. I'll be purchasing a Ride Cornwall ticket on days we decide to go out and about using our 2together Railcard. Just over £8, much better