Bus travel has changed greatly in Cornwall in recent months and the county, once thought of as the graveyard for buses as they saw out their last days, has been transformed by an influx of new vehicles, both single and double deck. In 2016 the Government announced Cornwall would receive an additional £12m over the following three years to support the Council’s plans to improve bus services. This money was to be used to join up bus routes, improve bus shelters and bus stops, integrate ticketing and timetabling for bus with local rail services, and to provide new and improved vehicles. This investment was part of the One Public Transport element of Cornwall’s Devolution Deal which saw £130m of Government funding used to develop an integrated rail, bus and ferry transport network across Cornwall. First Kernow have now introduced a significant number of new E400 double deckers and E200 single deckers across the county in a stunning green livery, as seen here and on the cover of this issue. Giles Fearnley, speaking earlier in 2018 said: “In Cornwall, we are upgrading to double-deck operation the trunk Truro to Redruth, Camborne to Penzance and St Ives corridors. We see opportunities for growth, especially serving the tourist market. We are investing £7.1m of this order in 30 new ADL Enviro400 MMC. “We’ve cascaded around 100 vehicles to Cornwall in the last six months, resulting in a step change in the fleet. This latest investment will take that process a significant step forward. We will then have a fleet fit for a growing market, meeting the aspirations of the local authority.” In addition to new buses, new ticket machine have brought contactless payment to buses in Cornwall, enabling passengers to pay quickly with credit or debit cards. This is part of the wider One Public Transport System with other operators going contactless in the future. Other operators in Cornwall offering contactless payment include: Plymouth Citybus (Go Cornwall), A Line Coaches, Age UK (Cornwall and Isles of Scilly), Gorran Community Bus, Hopley’s Coaches, OTS, Group Travel, St Ives Bus Company, FT Williams Travel and West Penwith Community Bus.
Would that Herefordshire Council in partnership with operators would do the same!