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Bus Cuts Confirmed

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10:03am 28th November 2014
(Updated 10:03am 28th November 2014)

Bus cuts are confirmed in Cornwall.

Western Greyhound is scrapping its services in Penzance and Hayle.

Bosses say it is because of cuts to funding from the council.

Mark Howarth, Western Greyhound's Managing Director said "Cornwall Council has been in extensive negotiations with bus operators for some months. I do understand that Cornwall is under budgetary pressure and needs to save money on its budget. I have lobbied Government Ministers about the reduced allocation of funds to Local Authorities, but ministers have stated that localism means that each Local Authority can determine its own priorities for spending. We obviously want to see bus services protected.

"I was under the impression that front line delivery cuts were not going to be made by the newly elected Cornwall Council at least until a bus service re-tendering in April 2014 and after analysis of the public consultation process which is currently under way.  I, along with others, have fought hard for the retention of bus services for many years and am pleased that the cuts for the remainder of this year will not be as bad as initially suggested. Fortunately most evening and Sunday journeys will be retained. I really hope that Cornwall Council can find some money for partial replacements in the form of community buses or other alternatives to replace the bus routes being withdrawn, and that money can be found to protect the remaining network from 2014 onwards, as this is vital for the rural community.

"Other than the bus services "bought in" by Cornwall Council, Western Greyhound still has a strong core of commercial services and the good news is that we will be actively developing and making some improvements to these routes from the same date in response to customer requests. So the news is not all bad!

"It is always sad when cuts are forced on us particularly when we have invested so much and my team has worked so hard to deliver a high quality standard of service. Cornwall has advised us that the withdrawal of tendered bus services in no way reflects the standard of operation. This is a second major blow to Western Greyhound this year as there was a devastating arson attack on our premises which destroyed 35 buses on 13 May. "

A statement from the company added: "Formal consultation has begun for all staff affected so that we can minimise the amount of job losses which may not just be bus drivers but also in other departments such as engineers, cleaners and administration. A figure of 12 job losses was incorrectly quoted in some areas of the media yesterday and this figure is not accurate and still has to be finalised during staff consultation."

Full details of the changes from 3 November are as follows:

The entire Penzance and Hayle operation (routes 501/4/7/8/9/12/13/15 will be withdrawn.  We are unsure what cheaper partial replacements the County is proposing at this stage.

The last Sunday journey on Truro-St Austell 520 service on Sundays will be withdrawn but the 522 will additionally run on Sundays into Truro.

The 521 Sunday service between Newquay and St Austell will reduce from two-hourly to hourly (but 522 will partially compensate for that) and there will be some minor timetable changes. The hourly weekday service will be maintained and the service will now run to St Austell Station but will no longer run via The Co-op in St Austell.

A brand-new Sunday service will be introduced on the 522 St Austell - Nanpean - Grampound - Truro service and certain journeys will run to St Austell Station.

 524/5/6 will be improved to run every half hour between Fowey and Mevagissey/Heligan via St Austell Station. This will partially replace First 27 which will no longer run to St Blazey or Par. No journeys will run beyond Heligan to Gorran.  Buses will only operate to Trevarth in Mevagissey (not via School Hill) so that we can use larger vehicles on the route due to overloading. Buses will run to Heligan twice an hour on either the outbound or return journeys not both. The Sunday service will be revised to two-hourly between Fowey and St Austell and hourly between St Austell and Mevagissey/Heligan.
The 527 between Newquay and Eden will run via the A390 instead of Tregrehan between Chapelfields and Eden and there will be a revised timetable. This will provide improved connections for passengers from Fowey travelling to Eden. All buses will run via St Austell Station.

The 529 between St Austell and Bodmin will have a slightly revised timetable and will be re-routed via Carlyon Road and Eliot Road. All buses will run to St Austell Station.

As noted above, St Austell services will now run into the Station and most will arrive and depart at similar times past the hour to allow inter-connections to be made between services.

The contract for service 530 in Bude has been terminated and the service will be withdrawn.  We are unsure what cheaper partial replacements the County is proposing at this stage.

Service 547 between Newquay and St Ives will be withdrawn for the winter but will be returning at Easter for the summer.
Service 550 between Truro and St Mawes will lose its Saturday evening journeys but the Sunday service will be retained with minor changes

Service 558 Newquay - Pentire will have a slightly revised timetable

Service 559 will no longer double-run to Bedowan Meadows and will run between Newquay, Chester Road, Trerice Drive and Morrisons only to a revised timetable.

Service 561 will be withdrawn. Again, we are unsure what cheaper partial replacements the County is proposing at this stage.

A brand-new Sunday service will be introduced between Polperro, Looe, St Germans and Plymouth on service 572
Service 585/586 between Newquay and Truro via Newlyn East will revert to the original route as we are advised that the Fiddlers Green bridge will reopen at the beginning of November.  Service 585 will be reduced in frequency and operate on Mondays to Fridays only. A brand-new Sunday service on 586 will be introduced between Newquay and Truro via Newlyn East.

Service 591/2/4 will revert back to the original numbers - 597 Newquay - St Columb Major - Truro (hourly), 587 Newquay - Perranporth - St Agnes - Truro (hourly). 594 will run Wadebridge - St Columb (connecting at St Columb with the hourly 593 between Newquay and Plymouth) - Truro (hourly). And a new day-time 588 will run Truro - Malabar - Perranzabuloe - Perranporth (hourly). The excellent news here is that it will double the frequency between Perranporth and Truro to two buses an hour all day and hourly on evenings and Sundays. This will also partially replace First's 85/85A to St Agnes and First's 27 service into Malabar which are both being withdrawn.

No changes are taking place to any other routes.

10:03am 28th November 2014

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