Tuesday 18 January 2022

Catch-up in Cornwall (1)

It's All Happening

The introduction of the Buses for Cornwall scheme (one network - actually two, two timetable books, two maps, two sets of fares with no inter-availability) was a sour joke. But it does look as if things are changing for the better. Firstly, and sensibly (AT LAST!), tickets have become fully inter-available between all operators and on all routes in the county. (ALL excludes Truro Park and Ride and many college services).

To achieve this First Bus has reduced many of its fares. Here are the old First only prices ...
... and the new anybody anywhere fares.
Notice that weekly tickets are unchaged - so it looks as if the chummy deal is for First to reduce its day fares, in return for which go Cornwall will  increase their weekly fares. Charging HALF the weekly rate for one day was a cruel First Bus rip-off anyway, but, as First will think, it was fair game to stitch up day visitors! It now become slightly less than one third.

Note that "child" fares are now Under 19.

Also new are local town day fares ...
... with more promised for the spring. The same information in more words is on the Buses for Cornwall web site - actually the Go Ahead Go Cornwall web site in very thin disguise.

Any ticket, any bus

We’ve got some great news for customers within Cornwall.

From 2 January you’ll be able to use your bus ticket on any* Cornwall by Kernow or Go Cornwall bus.
Including services operated by Stagecoach, Hopleys, OTS and Travel Cornwall.

That means that whether you’ve got a return, day, weekly or monthly ticket you’ll be able to hop on any bus, whoever operates it, and you won’t have to pay another penny.

It doesn’t matter what colour the bus is, or who’s driving it, it’ll still get you where you need to be.

There’s other exciting changes too, everyone 18 and under can now purchase a child ticket, offering great value travel to young people across the county.

And there are new day tickets available for the existing town zones, with a full fare ticket at just £3.00 and under 19s can travel for just £1.50.

That is more like it - and we still have the much delayed government funded reduced fare scheme to come, also slated for "the spring".

That's more like it

Maps As Well
All "normal" First Kernow routes are on the same map as Go Cornwall ...
...at least they are on the Go Cornwall web site. Sadly the chumminess does not extend to showing a full network map on the First Bus web site. Here we only get First services ...
... and very thin on the ground they are, too.

It is probably fair-dos to have a First Kernow only map if the web site is only showing First Kernow bus services, but making the comprehensive map available as well would be in the spirit of "its all coming together".

So First Bus only gives times for its own, and lists them in a strange order ...
Baffling if you are scrolling through in eager anticipation of exploring the network; but, if you know what you want, the search box does deliver what you ask for. If you don't know ...
... it doesn't!

Unfortunately the search term specified (Ludgvan) cannot be found in our database. Please amend your search or view all timetable listings for Cornwall.

Alternatively, you can call Traveline on 0871 200 22 33 or visit www.traveline.info

So it's not quite ALL coming together!

How does Go Cornwall compare?
Try Mousehole, that's First Kernow's route M6.
Not looking good.
Definitely NOT looking good. The M6 used to run every 20 minutes.
Unfortunately the search term specified (M6) cannot be found in our database. Please amend your search or view all timetable listings for Cornwall.

Alternatively, you can call Traveline on 0871 200 22 33 or visit www.traveline.info

fbb is sure it is the M6 and it is shown as such on the full network nap - but on the First map above it is just called "Mousehole".
And we then discover that fbb and the chummy map are both out of date; the route is called "MOUS"!
It runs every 30 minutes in winter.
Well it used to be route 6, then M6 - even if the camera cannot pick up all the bits!
fbb bets it doesn't show "MOUS" on the blind. But, whatever, it does not appear in Go Cornwall's "data" or its list of services.

So it's not quite ALL coming together!

In fact the list of Timetables on the Go Cornwall web site does not include ANY First Bus services. The odd matching route number ...
... just quotes the occasional tendered journeys NOT operated by First.
So it's not quite ALL coming together!

On the positive side, we now have THREE area timetable books which DO include everything - we are told. fbb will look at them in detail in a later blog. 

Tomorrow we need to take a closer look at First Kernow's web site and printed booklets.

That Hornby Catalogue - Stunning Statistics
fbb does remember the old Hornby Dublo range and it was always exciting but limited. New locos would appear from time to time and, once in thee catalogue they were usually a permanent fixture.
Here is a summary of what you can find in this year's Hornby booklet.

  8 Beatles wagons
  7 Coca Cola wagons
 33 Railroad** locos
 20 Railroad** coaches
 22 Railroad** wagons
 4 Liverpool and Manchester Railway^^ packs
 93 Steam locos
 54 Diesel locos
 71 4-wheel and 6-wheel carriages
266 coaches
118 wagons

Many of these, of course, are the same coach, wagon or loco but in different liveries. **Railroad is a slightly cheaper brand, mainly from older tooling. ^^Liverpool and Manchester Railway stuff matches the Rocket loco.

The list above does not include train sets and electric or diesel multiple units of which there are oodles more to choose from. And don't forget the LIMITED EDITION "Hornby Dublo" range of locos ...
... which are made of all-metal castings ...
... like Dublo locos from the "good old days", and sell at an all-metal price.

Nearly Forgot!
The subway that runs from South Kensington underground station to various museums, now ending at the Science Museum but in the past extended all the way to the Albert Hall.

The Colonnade linking the former High Level station with the Crystal Palace itself.

 Next Catch-up in Cornwall blog : Wednesday 19th January 


  1. South Kensington Subway - although originally planned to go to the Albert Hall, that was never built. There is an interesting article on the subject on Ian Visits ( https://www.ianvisits.co.uk/articles/ ) and scroll down to Jan 11.

  2. The Mousehole buses do display the route name, so you end up with the stupid situation of a bus showing "The Mousehole Mousehole" and "The Mousehole Penzance".

    I really don't get this whole stupid trend of referring to bus routes by a daft name rather than a simple number, which is surely easier to remember - what was wrong with plain "6"?

    It's all very nice having a brand, but it gets plain confusing when you're told to "catch the Mousehole to Penzance", or you have a named route with multiple termini (e.g. Trent Barton Indigo). Why do some deem that a brand and a number no longer co-exist?