All change in Cornwall contracts

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First has won the contracts to operate 13 additional routes in following a retendering exercise by Cornwall Council.

From April 1, First has won the following services, which are currently operated by Western Greyhound: 445, 500, 511, 516, 534, 535, 537, 538, 540, 542, 543, 576 and 582 (evenings and Sundays).

First has also retained the contract for evening and Sunday journeys (unless otherwise stated) on routes 2, 5/6 (fully tendered), 10/10A, 14/18, 17, 38 (fully tendered), 39 (fully tendered), 41, 68, 81C and 300. The council funds an extension to the latter otherwise commercial service between Easter and May, and during September.

As a result, First will draft in over 20 vehicles to Cornwall. It will also be recruiting drivers. The move means Western Greyhound will be back to what might be regarded as its traditional size of 100 vehicles.

Marc Reddy, regional commercial and business growth director for First in the South West and Wales, said: “We’re thrilled to have won this additional work. Things in Cornwall have been tough in recent times as there was a lot of uncertainty following the cuts. “These contract wins are a welcome boost for the business.”

Interestingly, First has lost the Bude Town Service to Stagecoach, which has won it on a minimum subsidy basis.