First is creating two new routes, the 3A to St Budeaux and 6 to Efford, and introducing frequency improvements in Plymouth as well as making adjustments to other services and some withdrawals. 15 routes will be affected on October 27 with six being withdrawn. Another three are altering on November 2.
Of two of the routes being withdrawn, the X80 (Plymouth – Torquay) and X81 (Dartmouth – Torquay), First says: “People should not be concerned as another almost identical service has been registered by Stagecoach, which starts on September 30. First has made arrangements for season tickets, and particularly scholar passes, to be honoured by the new operator for a set period of time.”
Alex Carter, Director for First South West, said: “Over the past few months we have looked at our network in and around Plymouth assessing its performance and its overall competitive edge. The review has shown that some changes are needed to strengthen the business and so we are taking steps to implement these alterations from the end of October.
“We understand that changes like these can be unsettling and that alterations to routes can have a real impact on our customers’ lives, affecting their own routines and schedules.
“Clearly some local people will need to look again at the local bus network, understanding how those alterations impact their ability to get to important destinations. In most cases though, the travelling public will find alternatives do exist for them, and where we can assist our teams will help people find them.