Marching through the mire

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We all know 2020 was extremely tough for anyone involved with passenger-carrying vehicles – especially coaches – thanks to the small matter of a global pandemic. But it’s easy to overlook how many strides were made last year in the industry despite this adversity. For CBW’s review of 2020, Peter Jackson focuses on the positive stories that kept the sector on its feet (just), and promises not to mention Covid-19 (phew!)

7 January

All subsidised bus services operated for Cornwall Council were awarded to Go-Ahead-owned Plymouth Citybus, after it made a package bid during the tendering process. This meant the creation of Go Cornwall Bus and the requirement for a fleet of 130 buses, 92 of which were ordered from ADL. The manufacturer supplied 44 Enviro200s in what was described as an ‘exceptionally short’ timeframe, ready for services to begin on 29 March. In August, Go South West was formed, encompassing both Plymouth Citybus and Go Cornwall Bus.

2020 was a landmark year for Plymouth Citybus

30 January

Stagecoach unveiled its long-rumoured brand new look, which it said was ‘part of a wider commitment to simplify, modernise and enhance its customer experience, whilst reaffirming its customer-first approach.’ Based on passenger feedback, the operator created three separate liveries: azure blue for ’Local’ services, amber yellow for ’Longer’ routes and ocean green for ’Specialist’ services.

4 February

The government’s Bus Open Data project went live, heralding the widespread availability of bus tracking and live timetable updates. Bus operators were legally required to provide timetable data by the end of 2020 via the TransXChange platform, and fare, ticket and location data will be a requirement by 2021.

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