Wednesday, 16 September 2015

All Change [3] Falmouth Universitybus ...

... If You Can Find It!
As of 1200 yesterday, the shiny new First Kernow web site was still showing old and new versions of the U1 and U2 timetables despite a major change from last Monday. Poor marks. What is the point of using the easily update facilities of the interwebnet and not bothering to easily update it. OK, the new times are there and suitably labelled; but how easy is it to make a mistake?

Oddly, a few hours after the publication of yesterday's blog, the correction was made. A coincidence, of course!

But let's go back a bit.

On 3rd November 2013, First Bus proudly announced, complete with leaflet, a new service numbered U1.
Oddly, the front of the leaflet didn't mention the U1 ...
... but inside was a warm and effusive welcome to the new service.
Whilst the 41 and 88 were largely unchanged at every 30 minutes, the 41 to Camborne ...
... and the 88 to Truro and onward to Newquay ...
... the new U1, as well as serving the departments based in the former Art College at Famouth (the Wood Lane campus) ...

... provided a bus every 15 minutes.
Of course it only ran on Mondays to Fridays during term time, but it did offer a bargain fare of 80p.

But in September 2014 it was all change. fbb does not know the minutiae of the revised deal, but, in essence, the concept was changed completely. The 41 was renumbered U2 and curtailed to terminate at Redruth.
The 88 was renumbered U1 and lost its journeys to Newquay which remained 88.
Two things brought a certain level of confusion. Firstly, journeys on both services, sometimes only one service, sometimes none, were diverted via the Woodlane Campus. Secondly, very different timetables were operated according to term and vacation dates.

In summary the U1 and U2 provided a bus every 15 minutes between the Wood Lane and Penryn campi Monday to Friday term time ...

... and hourly during the vac. Buses via Woodlane were hourly on Saturday and Sunday when students were studenting; but with no Wood Lane diversions for holiday dates. The strange route variations in the evening and the Summer nip into the Ponsharden Park and Ride site didn't help.

During term time, those trying to live a normal life in Penryn itself, unfettered by the challenges of academe, found their former 41s and 88s packed with cheap fare students and were unable to get on. They were not at all 'appy.
There was also a U3 which rarely made an appearance in any published timetable.
It was, in essence, a peak time extra running direct from Falmouth to Penryn and NOT via the Woodlane campus..

But, lo and behold, it was all change again from last Sunday 13th.

As we shall see tomorrow.

In case some readers are struggling with a possible attack of déjà vu, fbb did include Falmouth in a quick run through of First's various uni and college bus services; in a short series entitled "U's a Clever Boy" published in autumn 2014. Some of the background is repeated here in preparation for tomorrow's blog.

 Next unibus blog : Thursday 17th September 


  1. Things are even worse! The Twitter feed on the First Kernow website yesterday announced the introduction of winter timetables for Cornwall from 27 September and referred to new timetables being available on main website - but they are NOT available!

    1. All the timetables have been on the news page since yesterday afternoon!

    2. I think this confusion is caused by the 'old' website still being online but not being updated.

  2. Tomorrow we will be looking at on-line access to the U services in a wider context. It is far from pretty!

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