Peeved Penryn pensioner calls for overhaul of 'lamentable' bus service

Peeved Penryn pensioner calls for overhaul of 'lamentable' bus service

Peeved Penryn pensioner calls for overhaul of 'lamentable' bus service

First published in Falmouth/Penryn
Last updated
Falmouth Packet: Photograph of the Author by , Ex-Reporter/Photographer

A Penryn pensioner fed up with the “lamentably poor” bus service to Truro on a weekday morning is calling for a change.

Bill Cooper, aged 65, wants something to do be done about the overcrowded service number 88, which runs from Falmouth to Truro via the university campus at Tremough.

He is concerned that his partner Pat Sage, also aged 65, is “forced to wait in near freezing conditions” because of the number of students on the bus in the morning.

“It is unacceptable for the students to have access to six buses between 9am and 10am and yet the public only have two and regularly cannot get one of them as it is full of students,” Bill said.

“The situation is exacerbated by the ludicrous decision to regularly put on a single deck bus on this service.”

Anyone needing to travel to Truro on the bus, including school pupils and college students, are at a distinct disadvantage Bill reckons.

“I feel the balance has moved too far in the direction of students and left us OAP's often stranded and having to wait for 30 minutes for a Truro service rather than the 15 minutes we had to endure previously,” he said.

Bill suggested that bus operator First provide a half hourly service direct to Truro, bypassing the university campus altogether.

“The students will still get four services an hour from Falmouth to the campus - which other than early morning, lunchtime and late afternoon will result in half empty buses - but the other users will be able to get on the buses and get a reasonable service.”

Robbie Lamerton, general manager for First in Devon and Cornwall, said he “appreciated the concerns” raised by some residents “who feel that the 88 can experience capacity issues due to the large number of students who use the service.”

He said: “As a transport provider in the area we continue to work with local residents and university staff to make the best use of our resources and to match them with the routes on which there is the greatest demand.

“At present there are no plans to provide a dedicated Falmouth to Truro service that bypasses Tremough Campus but we will continue to look at the situation as part of our on-going revisions of the network.”

Truro and Falmouth MP Sarah Newton said several constituents had raised their concerns with her, which she had passed on to First.

“What I explain to constituents is that the university actually commissions particular bus services for the students, which are different to the scheduled public bus services and not everyone appreciates that,” she said.

“They are not paid for in the same way as public bus services, which are paid for through a combination of public subsidy and fares.”

Bill said he understood that “the campus subsidise some services,” but still thinks “the public are being mistreated here.”

He added that Mary May, a Cornwall councillor for Penryn, had been in contact with him and arranged a meeting with the current cabinet member for transport, Bert Biscoe, in a bid to resolve the issue.

Although approached for comment, a spokesperson for the universities at Tremough said they had nothing further to add to Mr Lamerton's remarks.

Read how First bus fares increased by up to 25p in the New Year by clicking here

LETTERS: Read what other Packet readers had to say about First bus services below:

'Waiting for buses ruined my son’s trip to Cornwall'

'Not impressed with First’s overpriced bus service'

'Still frustrated over late bus service from Helston'

'Falmouth bus saga takes a farcical turn'

Comments (20)

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7:34am Wed 23 Jan 13

Gill Zella Martin 09 says...

When I travelled on that route the bus I was on frequently did not even bother stopping at some of the stops as it was already full up.

'First' need to address the problem, in other areas the bus operating company Stagecoach addressed a similar problem when raised by myself and others, by running an extra bus at the same time, one would arrive and fill up with mainly students and school children with the other bus directly behind to pick up any remaining passengers. It is not rocket science, First should remember who is using their services for the remainder of the day and at weekends.
When I travelled on that route the bus I was on frequently did not even bother stopping at some of the stops as it was already full up. 'First' need to address the problem, in other areas the bus operating company Stagecoach addressed a similar problem when raised by myself and others, by running an extra bus at the same time, one would arrive and fill up with mainly students and school children with the other bus directly behind to pick up any remaining passengers. It is not rocket science, First should remember who is using their services for the remainder of the day and at weekends. Gill Zella Martin 09
  • Score: 0

10:01am Wed 23 Jan 13

Poldark says...

Weasel words once again by the bus company, this has been going on for so long now, and every bus goes up to the college, but hey ho! the Universities interests always comes first never mind the rest of the working population .
Weasel words once again by the bus company, this has been going on for so long now, and every bus goes up to the college, but hey ho! the Universities interests always comes first never mind the rest of the working population . Poldark
  • Score: 0

3:46pm Wed 23 Jan 13

GrahamHarris says...

With the greatest respect due, the two people concerned here are both pensioners and have arguably got all day to travel to Truro?

If I was them, I'd just go at 11 or 12oclock or something when it was quiet!
With the greatest respect due, the two people concerned here are both pensioners and have arguably got all day to travel to Truro? If I was them, I'd just go at 11 or 12oclock or something when it was quiet! GrahamHarris
  • Score: 0

3:55pm Wed 23 Jan 13

meerkats says...

GrahamHarris wrote:
With the greatest respect due, the two people concerned here are both pensioners and have arguably got all day to travel to Truro?

If I was them, I'd just go at 11 or 12oclock or something when it was quiet!
Think they should be allowed to travel the time they want and sometimes they may have appointments to get to so they may have to use the earlier buses.
[quote][p][bold]GrahamHarris[/bold] wrote: With the greatest respect due, the two people concerned here are both pensioners and have arguably got all day to travel to Truro? If I was them, I'd just go at 11 or 12oclock or something when it was quiet![/p][/quote]Think they should be allowed to travel the time they want and sometimes they may have appointments to get to so they may have to use the earlier buses. meerkats
  • Score: 0

6:34pm Wed 23 Jan 13

telstar1962 says...

A properly integrated transport system is never going to happen in Cornwall, or anywhere else in the UK, because of the distinct lack of brains in the transport sector.

And further,when you look to see the list of Transport Secretaries over the last 10 years or so, you can see why transport in this country is so dire


Alistair Darling

Douglas Alexander

Ruth Kelly

Geoff Hoon

The Lord Adonis

Philip Hammond

Justine Greening

Patrick McLoughlin
A properly integrated transport system is never going to happen in Cornwall, or anywhere else in the UK, because of the distinct lack of brains in the transport sector. And further,when you look to see the list of Transport Secretaries over the last 10 years or so, you can see why transport in this country is so dire Alistair Darling Douglas Alexander Ruth Kelly Geoff Hoon The Lord Adonis Philip Hammond Justine Greening Patrick McLoughlin telstar1962
  • Score: 0

7:18pm Wed 23 Jan 13

Gill Zella Martin 09 says...

GrahamHarris wrote:
With the greatest respect due, the two people concerned here are both pensioners and have arguably got all day to travel to Truro?

If I was them, I'd just go at 11 or 12oclock or something when it was quiet!
I understand what you are saying and maybe this would be a solution for many, however, as meerkats says about appointments, for a couple months running my elderly mother had to attend the fracture clinic which was morning appointments only offered, and even the concessionary card holders have to pay to travel before half past nine.
[quote][p][bold]GrahamHarris[/bold] wrote: With the greatest respect due, the two people concerned here are both pensioners and have arguably got all day to travel to Truro? If I was them, I'd just go at 11 or 12oclock or something when it was quiet![/p][/quote]I understand what you are saying and maybe this would be a solution for many, however, as meerkats says about appointments, for a couple months running my elderly mother had to attend the fracture clinic which was morning appointments only offered, and even the concessionary card holders have to pay to travel before half past nine. Gill Zella Martin 09
  • Score: 0

9:39am Thu 24 Jan 13

GrahamHarris says...

Yes I guess if you have appointments its difficult. I was just trying to say that sometimes if you can just avoid the hassle in the first place and go later on, you'd have an easier day!!

I'm hoping that there aren't too many cases of older people being left on the side of the road, because it is surely common sense for some of the students to allow the older people to get on the bus and make sure they have a seat - or am I just old fashioned??
Yes I guess if you have appointments its difficult. I was just trying to say that sometimes if you can just avoid the hassle in the first place and go later on, you'd have an easier day!! I'm hoping that there aren't too many cases of older people being left on the side of the road, because it is surely common sense for some of the students to allow the older people to get on the bus and make sure they have a seat - or am I just old fashioned?? GrahamHarris
  • Score: 0

9:40am Thu 24 Jan 13

Lord Barrington Forbes-Smythe says...

While their situation does sound a bit awkward, that route is probably the best-served in the area and I don't think we should waste much time discussing it: what about some of the other routes, with all the chopping anc changing of providers (usually for the worst) and the decimation of services, combined with large fare hikes?
I, like other contributors here, have made various complaints to the council on more than one occasion, with zero response in my case at least.

When will someone in authority sit up and take notice and at least acknowledge people's concerns? When will something be done to actually help ordinary people who happen to live in villages?

If it's not profitable to run buses on some of these routes, would the council give licences to minibus operators to provide some sort of service in these areas? But knowing this country, no doubt there's a mass of regulations that prevents that...
While their situation does sound a bit awkward, that route is probably the best-served in the area and I don't think we should waste much time discussing it: what about some of the other routes, with all the chopping anc changing of providers (usually for the worst) and the decimation of services, combined with large fare hikes? I, like other contributors here, have made various complaints to the council on more than one occasion, with zero response in my case at least. When will someone in authority sit up and take notice and at least acknowledge people's concerns? When will something be done to actually help ordinary people who happen to live in villages? If it's not profitable to run buses on some of these routes, would the council give licences to minibus operators to provide some sort of service in these areas? But knowing this country, no doubt there's a mass of regulations that prevents that... Lord Barrington Forbes-Smythe
  • Score: 0

3:21pm Thu 24 Jan 13

Gill Zella Martin 09 says...

GrahamHarris wrote:
Yes I guess if you have appointments its difficult. I was just trying to say that sometimes if you can just avoid the hassle in the first place and go later on, you'd have an easier day!!

I'm hoping that there aren't too many cases of older people being left on the side of the road, because it is surely common sense for some of the students to allow the older people to get on the bus and make sure they have a seat - or am I just old fashioned??
No I wouldn't say you were old fashioned you obviously just believe in people being courteous which I agree with.
[quote][p][bold]GrahamHarris[/bold] wrote: Yes I guess if you have appointments its difficult. I was just trying to say that sometimes if you can just avoid the hassle in the first place and go later on, you'd have an easier day!! I'm hoping that there aren't too many cases of older people being left on the side of the road, because it is surely common sense for some of the students to allow the older people to get on the bus and make sure they have a seat - or am I just old fashioned??[/p][/quote]No I wouldn't say you were old fashioned you obviously just believe in people being courteous which I agree with. Gill Zella Martin 09
  • Score: 0

3:34pm Thu 24 Jan 13

meerkats says...

No ,you are definitely not old fashioned , unfortunately there are some students who would tease their friends etc if they do give up a seat.. I have witnessed it before so a lot of students or youngsters in general would probably stay in their seat for that reason.Iam not tarring them all with the same brush and there are probably some courteous ones around.
No ,you are definitely not old fashioned , unfortunately there are some students who would tease their friends etc if they do give up a seat.. I have witnessed it before so a lot of students or youngsters in general would probably stay in their seat for that reason.Iam not tarring them all with the same brush and there are probably some courteous ones around. meerkats
  • Score: 0

4:03pm Thu 24 Jan 13

Lord Barrington Forbes-Smythe says...

I think the students around Falmouth and Penryn are in general pleasant and tolerant: the crap a lot of them have to put up with from locals student-bashing, sometimes literally.
Only yesterday, I heard one politely sticking up for her kind: she was working in a large chain store and it seemed some of the other 'local' staff were taking the oportunity to slag off students in general, blaming them for everything from litter in the streets to, for all I know, the recent cold weather.
The less bright members of any community don't need a second invitation to latch onto an easy target...
I think the students around Falmouth and Penryn are in general pleasant and tolerant: the crap a lot of them have to put up with from locals student-bashing, sometimes literally. Only yesterday, I heard one politely sticking up for her kind: she was working in a large chain store and it seemed some of the other 'local' staff were taking the oportunity to slag off students in general, blaming them for everything from litter in the streets to, for all I know, the recent cold weather. The less bright members of any community don't need a second invitation to latch onto an easy target... Lord Barrington Forbes-Smythe
  • Score: 0

4:27pm Thu 24 Jan 13

meerkats says...

Lord Barrington Forbes-Smythe wrote:
I think the students around Falmouth and Penryn are in general pleasant and tolerant: the crap a lot of them have to put up with from locals student-bashing, sometimes literally.
Only yesterday, I heard one politely sticking up for her kind: she was working in a large chain store and it seemed some of the other 'local' staff were taking the oportunity to slag off students in general, blaming them for everything from litter in the streets to, for all I know, the recent cold weather.
The less bright members of any community don't need a second invitation to latch onto an easy target...
Please dont think i was student-bashing with my previous comment . it wasnt meant that way ,i was just merely suggesting that people dont like getting teased or laughed at by others and would probably take the easy option to avoid this.
[quote][p][bold]Lord Barrington Forbes-Smythe[/bold] wrote: I think the students around Falmouth and Penryn are in general pleasant and tolerant: the crap a lot of them have to put up with from locals student-bashing, sometimes literally. Only yesterday, I heard one politely sticking up for her kind: she was working in a large chain store and it seemed some of the other 'local' staff were taking the oportunity to slag off students in general, blaming them for everything from litter in the streets to, for all I know, the recent cold weather. The less bright members of any community don't need a second invitation to latch onto an easy target...[/p][/quote]Please dont think i was student-bashing with my previous comment . it wasnt meant that way ,i was just merely suggesting that people dont like getting teased or laughed at by others and would probably take the easy option to avoid this. meerkats
  • Score: 0

4:33pm Thu 24 Jan 13

Lord Barrington Forbes-Smythe says...

I totally understood that Meerkats. To be honest, I suppose what I said was a bit off-topic, hence your confusion!

You're right though about them sometimes not getting up due to the others taking the mick: as the dad of a 17-year-old girl, it never ceases to amaze me to what extent the behaviour of the majority is dictated by peer group pressure these days - it's sad and I'm quite proud that my daughter doesn't tend to follow the herd, although I don't know how she'd behave in that situation.

But here I go off-topic again. Apologies!
I totally understood that Meerkats. To be honest, I suppose what I said was a bit off-topic, hence your confusion! You're right though about them sometimes not getting up due to the others taking the mick: as the dad of a 17-year-old girl, it never ceases to amaze me to what extent the behaviour of the majority is dictated by peer group pressure these days - it's sad and I'm quite proud that my daughter doesn't tend to follow the herd, although I don't know how she'd behave in that situation. But here I go off-topic again. Apologies! Lord Barrington Forbes-Smythe
  • Score: 0

4:52pm Thu 24 Jan 13

Gill Zella Martin 09 says...

When I used to catch the buses at the moor in Falmouth I always found the students really polite and helpful, and friendly.
When I used to catch the buses at the moor in Falmouth I always found the students really polite and helpful, and friendly. Gill Zella Martin 09
  • Score: 0

8:23am Sat 26 Jan 13

molesworth says...

No one in their right mind chooses to travel on a bus when they know it will be crammed full of students. It's like telling your wife you preferred the other dress she was trying on just before you're about to go to a party and then being surprised when she collapses in a flood of tears and sobs that she doesn't want to go anymore. Just don't do it. If you have to travel on a bus in the 'rush hour' don't be surprised when you find it an unpleasant experience. Toodle pip!
No one in their right mind chooses to travel on a bus when they know it will be crammed full of students. It's like telling your wife you preferred the other dress she was trying on just before you're about to go to a party and then being surprised when she collapses in a flood of tears and sobs that she doesn't want to go anymore. Just don't do it. If you have to travel on a bus in the 'rush hour' don't be surprised when you find it an unpleasant experience. Toodle pip! molesworth
  • Score: 0

9:10am Sat 26 Jan 13

Gill Zella Martin 09 says...

molesworth wrote:
No one in their right mind chooses to travel on a bus when they know it will be crammed full of students. It's like telling your wife you preferred the other dress she was trying on just before you're about to go to a party and then being surprised when she collapses in a flood of tears and sobs that she doesn't want to go anymore. Just don't do it. If you have to travel on a bus in the 'rush hour' don't be surprised when you find it an unpleasant experience. Toodle pip!
No you may not choose to but if needs arise such as to attend hospital appointments and one has no private transport then there is no option. I don't think it is so much of being an unpleasant experience but more so it being no experience as one cannot get on the bus at all because it is full up. Therefore to be listed in a public timetable as available for fare paying customers is misleading if it is a regular occurrence that the bus cannot cope with the combined amount of general public and students.
[quote][p][bold]molesworth[/bold] wrote: No one in their right mind chooses to travel on a bus when they know it will be crammed full of students. It's like telling your wife you preferred the other dress she was trying on just before you're about to go to a party and then being surprised when she collapses in a flood of tears and sobs that she doesn't want to go anymore. Just don't do it. If you have to travel on a bus in the 'rush hour' don't be surprised when you find it an unpleasant experience. Toodle pip![/p][/quote]No you may not choose to but if needs arise such as to attend hospital appointments and one has no private transport then there is no option. I don't think it is so much of being an unpleasant experience but more so it being no experience as one cannot get on the bus at all because it is full up. Therefore to be listed in a public timetable as available for fare paying customers is misleading if it is a regular occurrence that the bus cannot cope with the combined amount of general public and students. Gill Zella Martin 09
  • Score: 0

9:32am Sat 26 Jan 13

molesworth says...

Some people must be able to get on the bus or it wouldn't be full. Some times life is hard. Some times things aren't ideal. Buses in rush hour are awful especially for elderly folk. Always have been always will be.
Some people must be able to get on the bus or it wouldn't be full. Some times life is hard. Some times things aren't ideal. Buses in rush hour are awful especially for elderly folk. Always have been always will be. molesworth
  • Score: 0

10:48am Sat 26 Jan 13

Gill Zella Martin 09 says...

Well perhaps the answer would be to put double deck as opposed to single deck buses on that route in the mornings, after all 'First' seem to have a plentiful supply of double deck buses on inappropriate routes for them such as the 37 and 36 routes, where single deck ones would be welcomed.
Well perhaps the answer would be to put double deck as opposed to single deck buses on that route in the mornings, after all 'First' seem to have a plentiful supply of double deck buses on inappropriate routes for them such as the 37 and 36 routes, where single deck ones would be welcomed. Gill Zella Martin 09
  • Score: 0

11:04am Sat 26 Jan 13

Gill Zella Martin 09 says...

Having had a meeting in the past with 'First's regional customer services manager regarding service issues within the Lizard area, I admit there has been a vast improvement in services and many issues raised have been addressed. Maybe the Falmouth area would benefit from some contact and disscusion between 'First' and some members of the public.
Having had a meeting in the past with 'First's regional customer services manager regarding service issues within the Lizard area, I admit there has been a vast improvement in services and many issues raised have been addressed. Maybe the Falmouth area would benefit from some contact and disscusion between 'First' and some members of the public. Gill Zella Martin 09
  • Score: 0

4:07pm Sat 26 Jan 13

Lanty Slee says...

Maybe the university shouldn't get everything it wants all the time.
Maybe the university shouldn't get everything it wants all the time. Lanty Slee
  • Score: 0

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