A new bus service that will ferry students, staff and local residents between the university campuses in Falmouth and Penryn will be introduced at the start of the new term.

Falmouth University (Falmouth) and the University of Exeter in Cornwall (UoE) tendered for an inter-campus bus service through their shared service delivery partner, Falmouth Exeter Plus (FX Plus).

First Bus won the contract and First Fal River (FFR), a commercial arrangement between First Bus and Fal River Links, will operate the new bus service from September 8 for a five-year period.

The new service will cover a following circular route, taking in Penryn Campus at Tremough, Penryn Town, Penryn Bridge, Dracaena crossroads, Killigrew Street, The Moor, Falmouth Campus at Woodlane, Earle’s Retreat, back to The Moor, Killigrew Street, Dracaena crossroads, Penryn Harbour Office, The Sidings at Penryn and back to Tremough.

As part of this contract, FFR have decided to integrate two key public bus services, the 41 (Camborne to Falmouth via Penryn and the Penryn Campus) and the 88 (Falmouth to Truro via Penryn and the Penryn Campus) into a network of three services: the U1 (88), the U2 (41) and a supplementary fast U3 route on the core section of this circular route, as required, to provide additional capacity at peak times.

“The 41 and 88 services are already utilised by students and staff from the Penryn and Falmouth Campuses and local residents, and all three routes – the U1, U2 and U3 – will be accessible to everyone,” said Alex Carter, managing director of First South West.

“Monday to Saturday daytime frequency will be every 15 minutes between 7.30am and 6.30pm and at least every 60 minutes in the evenings and on Sundays.”

The university partnership heavily subsidises bus fares for students and staff to encourage them to use sustainable forms of travel and minimise their reliance on single-car commutes.

“As part of our planning consent for the Penryn Campus, we are required to agree a travel plan with Cornwall Council each year as a means of managing the impact of our growth on the environment,” said the universities’ travel plan coordinator, Leona Blaney.

“The income we generate from car parking at the campus is reinvested into other forms of transport such as bus travel, in order to encourage students and staff to make sustainable travel choices, and travel by bus when they can.”

Free Wi-Fi will be available for all users of the U1 and U2 services. Timetables are not yet available but will be uploaded to the First Bus website.