Tuesday, 4 August 2015

Collusion or Confusion in Plymouth [2]

Indeed : What's Going On!


First's route to Tavistock has gone through numerous phases; with Tavylinx branding ...
... upped to every 15 minutes, dropped to every 20.
Stagecoach will run a bus every 15 minutes using route numbers 1 and X1.
And Plymouth Citybus' Blue Flash 42?
Withdrawn completely north of Woolwell! All that trendy blue livery has gone to waste.
But not quite. First Bus will withdraw its Plymouth local 15 to Woolwell ...
... whilst Plymouth Citybus extends its 42C to ...
... Woolwell.

 Mount Batten 

First Bus and Plymouth Citybus have competed vigorously on the circuitous route from city to Mount Batten. 
First's 2 and Plymouth Citybus' 4 following similar routes.
Stagecoach have registered their service 2 and 2A, a copy of First's service.
And Plymouth Citybus? Service 4 and 4A is withdrawn completely.

 St Budeaux 

If you were paying attention yesterday, you will know that Stagecoach is NOT picking up First's service 3, a mega circular via Honicknowle but enhanced between St Budeaux and the city.
It will now come as no surprise hat Plymouth Citybus is increasing its St Budeaux service from 6 buses an hour to 8, at the same time enhancing  services to Plympton.


After kicking First off its local service 88 to Ivybridge ...
... with its 45, Citybus has cancelled the 45 leaving Ivybridge to - guess who?
You guessed right. Stagecoach with their half hourly "Gold"!

It looks like a stitch-up; one of those inexplicable co-incidences that follow a non-meeting in a smoke filled room somewhere well away from Plymouth.
Collusion is illegal, of course. Except in Oxford, Sheffield and parts of Liverpool! But certainly illegal in Plymouth.

But, as they say, hold your horses. Local Plymothian bus watchers are convinced here has been no collusion; and this time it really does mean no collusion. National bus experts are of the opinion that there is no love lost between Stagecoach and GoAhead thus rendering a Plymouth pub-deal unthinkable.

And then there is Saltash.


Stagecoach decided NOT to register a service across the Tamar to Saltash to replace the historic route 1 ...
... leaving the roads clear for a certain other operator.

But suddenly Stagecoach changed its corporate mind and submitted a registration for a REVISED service 2 and 2A timetable extending the Mount Batten route 2 and 2A cross-city to cover First's 1 and 1A ...
... and to compete with Citybus 10 and 10A.
From non-existent collaborative collusion, we return to crazy competition.

There is a game of bus timetable poker going on here ...
... and if fbb were a betting man (which he never has been) he would lay odds on GoAhead's Citybus losing the game.

Watch this space blog.

 Next bus blog : Wednesday 5th August 


  1. I wonder if the Saltash incursion is to ensure that Stagecoach have a seat at the table for Cornish bus franchising (the north Cornwall ops being mainly tendered). Cornwall COuncil has been a bit vague about how cross-boundary routes will be dealt with.

    The rest of the registration/de-registration game looks eminently sensible - Stagecoach has marked out the territory it wants with some robust service levels, and Citybus has (a) read the signals (b) been able to re-use resources where theyt are likely to be more profitable.

  2. Clearly much more exciting than the Big Fix we have here in Sheffield...