Go-Ahead steps in on Western Greyhound routes

Go-Ahead-owned Plymouth Citybus has acquired Western Greyhound bus services in the Liskeard area.

It follows Western Greyhound being offered for sale, after a period of poor operation and financial pressures (routeone, News, 19 November).

Says Western Greyhound MD and co-owner Mark Howarth: “The company continues in discussions with interested parties for the rest of the business and an announcement will be made in due course.”

Go-Ahead took over on Monday (8 December) in south-east Cornwall, safeguarding 31 bus driving jobs in the area, and continuing to run the Western Greyhound timetables currently in place.

This includes routes 572 (Looe-Plymouth), 573 (Looe-Liskeard), 574 (Liskeard Callington) and 576 (Plymouth-Callington-Launceston-Bude).

It will also run the section of route 593 between Plymouth and Liskeard, with Western Greyhound running the 593 between Newquay and Liskeard. Through tickets will continue to be available.

Plymouth Citybus intends to take over the lease of the depot off Culverwood Road in Liskeard, along with nine low-floor buses that will be branded under the new name of ‘Go Cornwall Bus’.

Plymouth Citybus runs 180 buses in Plymouth, which is 20 miles away from Liskeard.

Plymouth Citybus MD Richard Stevens says: “We are delighted to be able to come to an agreement with Western Greyhound to take over these routes and not only safeguard 31 local jobs, but secure vital bus services in south-east Cornwall.

“We have a wealth of experience of running buses in the area and have this year started providing services to The Rame peninsular and into Liskeard, complementing our service between Callington and Tavistock.”

Mr Howarth says: “We believe that the deal for the Liskeard area represents good value for our employees and users.

“We started operations in south-east Cornwall in August 2004, stepping in when DAC closed down their operations there, and stepped in again when local bus operator Phil Hambley of Pelynt retired.

“Frequencies were steadily increased with through services between Newquay andPlymouth, and more recently increasing the peak Liskeard-Plymouth frequency to half-hourly. “A network based on connections at Liskeard was developed together with integrated ticketing with First Great Western trains on the Looe Valley corridor. I am delighted that Plymouth Citybus will be able to take this network to the next phase of its development.”