First South West invests in commercial opportunities for the summer season

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The First Bus operating company that serves Cornwall, Devon and Somerset has announced a number of new services that will launch in May

First South West divisions Buses of Somerset and First Kernow are to benefit from further investment in new commercial services, additional fleet purchases and repaints as part of the company’s ‘Back Better 21’ programme.

Tourists and locals in Cornwall, Devon and Somerset will benefit from new links and new open top bus services, allowing easy access to coastal towns and attractions.

The new services, and a revised Atlantic Coaster network, are due to commence on 16 May, in line with the government roadmap reducing restrictions. Details of the new and revised services are:

Atlantic Coaster/Land’s End Coaster
A revised network will see Land’s End services A1/2/3 rebranded as Land’s End Coaster, whilst remaining Atlantic Coaster services A4/5 have been joined together to offer an increased service to the south of Newquay, which will see an increase in its peak vehicle requirement.

Cornwall DayTripper
A new self-contained network of routes will use the Eden Project as a ‘hub’ and operate for the summer period. These new services will allow customers to travel into the Eden Project from across mid and east cornwall, where they can spend the day at the Eden Project, or travel on to a variety of other tourist destinations.

A mix of Wrightbus Geminis and Optare Solo SRs are being repainted into the new Cornwall DayTripper brand livery for this operation and will operate between duties on schools and colleges work.

Dartmoor Explorer
Four Wrightbus Geminis have been painted for this new service which links Exeter with Plymouth via the scenic route of Moretonhampstead, Postbridge, Tavistock and Princetown.

Exmoor Coaster
The new service will link Minehead with Lynmouth using two open top Scania Omnicitys, which are currently being prepared by EnsignBus at Purfleet, Essex.

Falmouth Coaster
A single open top bus will provide a tour of Falmouth’s town and coastline.

The Buses of Somerset division has been repainting buses into an updated version of its two tone green livery, with the process very nearly complete with the last two ADL Enviro200s away for repainting into the refreshed version for Taunton town services.

The final development, for the time being, involves college services. Commercial Director at First South West, Marc Morgan Huws, told CBW: “A commercial arrangement with Truro and Penwith Colleges has been secured to provide the transport for their students from September and beyond. This is an exciting development for us, with new opportunities and a strong partnership between our business and the colleges. We are committed to working together to develop our partnership for the future.”