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Stagecoach South West

stagecoach south west, stagecoach south west trains
Stagecoach South West is a bus operator providing services in Devon and East Cornwall along with coach services to Bristol It is a subsidiary of Stagecoach


  • 1 History
    • 11 Devon General
    • 12 Stagecoach Devon
    • 13 Stagecoach in Somerset
  • 2 Services
  • 3 Fleet
  • 4 Depots
  • 5 See also
  • 6 References
  • 7 External links


Devon Generaledit

A preserved Devon General Leyland Atlantean and modern Stagecoach Alexander ALX400 bodied Dennis Trident 2 Exeter depot, June 2014 Main article: Devon General

The Devon General Omnibus and Touring Company commenced operations in South Devon in 1919 with two bus routes from Exeter to Torquay1 In 1922 Torquay Tramways purchased the company, although it was operated as a subsidiary of the National Electric Construction Company NECC and the tramway company's motor buses were transferred to Devon General2 In 1931 the NECC became a part of the British Electric Traction Group3

British Electric Traction's bus operations, including Devon General, became part of the National Bus Company when it was formed in 19694 In April 1970 the Exeter City Council's buses and routes were transferred to Devon General but the city's unusual use of route letters as opposed to numbers continued5 In January 1971 the bus operations of Devon General were transferred to neighbouring Western National but the Devon General name was retained as a brand4

In January 1983 Western National was split into four new companies, one of which was Devon General Limited6 that operated in south and east Devon as the old Devon General had done, but the Tiverton area services became part of North Devon7 On 19 August 1986 Devon General became the first National Bus Company subsidiary to be privatised under the Transport Act 1985 being sold in a management buy out led by managing director Harry Blundred8

An experimental high-frequency service using 22 minibuses was introduced in Exeter on 27 February 19845 By the time the company was privatised the minibus fleet had expanded with more than 200 Ford Transits and Ivecos in service, comprising over half the fleet8 By the end of 1990 all regular services had been converted to minibus operation using a mixture of 16 and 24 seat vehicles9

In 1992 the operations in Torbay and Newton Abbot were split off to a new Bayline company10 while Devon General continued to operate in the Exeter area11 Both companies were sold to Stagecoach in 1996,12 and in 2003 was rebranded Stagecoach Devon

Stagecoach Devonedit

Stagecoach introduced low floor buses to the Torbay area with vehicles such as this Volvo B6LE preserved vehicle, 2011 Alexander ALX400 bodied Dennis Trident 2 with North Devon Wave branding Bideford, August 2011 Alexander ALX400 bodied Dennis Trident 2 operating on the former First Group route 93 Kingsbridge, September 2015

During the late 1990s and early 2000s many of the old fleet of buses were refurbished

Minibuses have been replaced with a mixture of midibuses, double deckers, and coaches, the most recent buses being Optare Solos, Alexander Dennis Pointer bodied Dennis Dart SLFs, Dennis Trident 2s and Alexander Dennis Enviro400s, all Stagecoach Group standard bus types Stagecoach injected some new buses after acquisition of the company including Volvo B6LEs 14, Volvo B10M coaches 6, Volvo B10M buses 7, Dennis Javelins 4 and Mercedes-Benz Varios 16 after which there were few more for some years Stagecoach Devon's fleet was mostly cascades from other areas Between 1997 and 2004 only six new buses entered the fleet three Alexander ALX200s for route 56 and three Dennis Tridents for route 373 in January 2003 Since then the company has invested heavily in new vehicles, taking on a large fleet of Dennis Tridents 21 initially for the busy route 12 in Torbay and the new route 54 Culm Valley Connect services 8 Tridents, it was also the launch customer for the Optare Solo Slimline, with 30 for Exeter city routes Later in 2006 Exeter services received new Alexander Dennis Pointers for city services A and H, displacing Solos onto other routes

The company faced an industrial stoppage in July 2003 that led to cutbacks in the period afterwards The company recovered strongly positing excellent growth in passengers and a steadily improving financial position underlined by innovative marketing, engaging in community activities, promotions including telemarketing

The company has also been a significant winner in the 'Kickstart competition', a directly government funded initiative to provide and upgrade to services which should eventually become self-supporting Stagecoach Devon won three such bids, the Culm Valley connect services in September 2004, the 12A South Devon College services in September 2005 and the upgrade of Exeter City services in spring 2006

The company won tenders outside the traditional boundaries of the Devon General area and has had buses based in Yeovil since 2005, and from September 2006 opened depots at Barnstaple, Bude and Torrington after gaining tenders in the County Council tender round

The introduction of free concessionary fares to the disabled and those over 60 and the inherent organic growth in the business put considerable capacity demands on the company, which is switched to double-deck buses on many routes to cope, with older double-deckers being transferred from other Stagecoach operations The company has campaigned for a better settlement on the fare concessions and the reimbursement from the scheme is said to be amongst the weakest in the country whilst demand is amongst the strongest In six months concessionary demand increased 90% over the previous year

In June 2008 Alexander Dennis Enviro400 buses were purchased for use on the new go2 service from Exeter to Newton Abbot13

In August 2008, Stagecoach announced a trial of a ferry from Torquay to Brixham using a 138-seat catamaran14 Stagecoach released a leaflet explaining the details of the trial between 29 August and 27 September 200815

On 6 September 2015, the Plymouth, Dartmouth and Tavistock depots of First Devon & Cornwall were taken over1617

On the weekend of the 24/25 September 2016 all engineering for Exeter was moved from Belgrave Road to a new maintenance hub built into the Matford park & ride site on the outskirts of Marsh Barton, Exeter18

Stagecoach in Somersetedit

A 'Stagecoach in Somerset' Optare Versa Yeovil, May 2011

In May 2007 Cooks Coaches of Wellington was purchased by Stagecoach with 60 buses19


Alexander Dennis Enviro200 bodied MAN 18240 in Park & Ride livery Exeter, September 2010

From a slow start Exeter has become one of the first cities in the UK to have a fleet of entirely low-floor buses after introduction of the buses to the A and H service Some radial services from Exeter are also operated by low-floor buses from Exeter, such as the X46, 56, Culm Valley 1/1A/1B, the Sidmouth services 52, from late 2006

Several Exeter city services have been upgraded, including service F splitting into two, the F1 & F2; and service A having the first Dennis Darts with Pointer 2 bodywork vehicles in Exeter

Alexander Dennis Enviro400s were purchased in May 2008 for the new 2 and 2A which replaced the 85 and 85A

Changes to routes in Exeter in September 2007, with the withdrawal of service T, and R and S running in daytime only, caused outrage amongst residents of the affected areas20

In October 2007, Devon County Council announced that it would fund Stagecoach until March 2008 to run a partial service T and resume the R and S service in the evenings This was due to the council receiving over 80 letters from passengers21

The services resumed partially in late October22 and fully in November,23 before Devon County Council will review the service's usage

A former First Devon & Cornwall bus retained in Plymouth for the start up of Stagecoach services in the city Number 18534 registration WJ55CRZ is an East Lancs Lolyne

In December 2009 Stagecoach commenced operating three park & ride services in Exeter with 13 buses painted in dedicated liveries for the three routes24

In September 2013 two Stagecoach Gold routes were scheduled to be introduced in competition with First Devon & Cornwall's routes X80 and X81 Running from Torquay to Totnes every 30 minutes they will operate alternatively to Dartmouth and Plymouth25

In September 2015 First Devon & Cornwall withdrew their network of services in Plymouth and South Devon Stagecoach acquired their depot in Plymouth along with its outstations in Tavistock and Dartmouth and introduced a smaller network of routes in their place The First park and ride fleet initially remained at Plymouth on hire to Stagecoach along with buses transferred from Stagecoach Manchester and Stagecoach East Kent as well as other locations This was temporary as an order of 27 Alexander Dennis Enviro 400 MMCs, 22 of which were to be allocated to the Plymouth depot for the 1/X1 and 3 Services and 100/101 Park & Ride services along with 5 Alexander Dennis Enviro200 MMCs for the 200 Park and Ride Other services operated in Plymouth are the 2/2A and 48, alongside certain workings on the Stagecoach Gold route from Torbay that launched two years earlier, and a working on the X38 transferred from Exeter

In February 2016 Stagecoach Launched the South West Falcon, an express coach service between Plymouth and Bristol It also stops at other key stops including Exeter, Taunton and Bristol Airport During its first month a special promotional offer allowing a return anywhere for £126

In September 2017, Stagecoach implemented the first major 'shake-up' of it's Plymouth based services since takeover in 2015 The route X1 that ran from Plymouth to Tavistock via Manadon Flyover was rerouted to follow the route 1 via Derriford Hospital to provide a standardised frequency Route 2/2A saw an increased frequency in Plymstock with a new 2B variant introduced Stagecoach also won the contract to run route 36 previously operated by Plymouth Citybus which connects Plymouth City Centre with Plymouth City College Routes 100/101 were amended to serve Derriford Hospital throughout the day, creating a direct link to Plymouth Station Route branding was introduced on routes 1, 2/2A, 2B and 36 and park & ride branding updated


As at September 2013 the fleet consists of 334 buses and coaches27


  • Barnstaple Benning Court, Riverside Road
  • Exeter Matford Park
  • Plymouth The Ride, Chelson Meadow
  • Torquay Regent Close

See alsoedit

  • Open top buses in Torbay


  1. ^ Morris, Colin 2006 Glory Days: Devon General Hersham: Ian Allan Publishing pp 15–19 ISBN 0-7110-3128-2 
  2. ^ Morris, Colin 2006 Glory Days: Devon General Hersham: Ian Allan Publishing pp 23–25 ISBN 0-7110-3128-2 
  3. ^ Morris, Colin 2006 Glory Days: Devon General Hersham: Ian Allan Publishing p 37 ISBN 0-7110-3128-2 
  4. ^ a b Morris, Colin 2006 Glory Days: Devon General Hersham: Ian Allan Publishing p 66 ISBN 0-7110-3128-2 
  5. ^ a b Morris, Stephen May 1984 "Devon General at 65" Buses Ian Allan Publishing 36 350: 212–217 ISSN 0007-6392 
  6. ^ Companies House extract company no 1673326 Devon General Limited
  7. ^ Companies House extract company no 1662631 North Devon Limited
  8. ^ a b "First NBC operator sold" Buses Ian Allan 38 379: 452 October 1986 ISSN 0007-6392 
  9. ^ Spencer, Barry W; Druce, Colin February 1991 "End of an era in Devon" Buses Ian Allan Publishing 43 431: 66–68 ISSN 0007-6392 
  10. ^ Companies House extract company no 2118422 Bayline Limited
  11. ^ Lidstone, John G January 1993 "Fleet News" Buses Ian Allan 45 454: 30 ISSN 0007-6392 
  12. ^ "Devon companies sold by Transit Holdings" Buses Ian Allan 48 492: 7 March 1996 ISSN 0007-6392 
  13. ^ http://wwwthisisexetercouk/displayNodejspnodeId=137015&command=displayContent&sourceNode=136999&contentPK=20955080&moduleName=InternalSearch&formname=sidebarsearch Retrieved 26 June 2008  Missing or empty |title= helpdead link
  14. ^ 1 Archived 16 July 2011 at the Wayback Machine
  15. ^ "Archived copy" Archived from the original on 15 September 2008 Retrieved 2008-08-17 
  16. ^ First agrees sale of South Devon business to Stagecoach FirstGroup 10 July 2015
  17. ^ FirstBus agrees to sell Plymouth operations to Stagecoach Plymouth Herald 13 July 2015
  18. ^ "New Exeter bus depot to open this weekend - and drivers aren't happy about it" 2016-09-23 Retrieved 2016-09-25 
  19. ^ Stagecoach has acquired Cooks Coaches Business Report 17 May 2007
  20. ^ http://wwwthisisexetercouk/displayNodejspnodeId=137015&command=displayContent&sourceNode=136999&contentPK=18525496&moduleName=InternalSearch&formname=sidebarsearch Retrieved 19 October 2007  Missing or empty |title= helpdead link
  21. ^ http://wwwthisisexetercouk/displayNodejspnodeId=137199&command=displayContent&sourceNode=136986&contentPK=18696178&folderPk=79934&pNodeId=137002 Retrieved 19 October 2007  Missing or empty |title= helpdead link
  22. ^ Devon – Marks & Spencer Bus 26 January Archived 4 November 2007 at the Wayback Machine
  23. ^ Devon – Timetable change – service 308 Archived 4 November 2007 at the Wayback Machine
  24. ^ Bus company launches park and ride fleet Exeter Express & Echo 9 December 2009
  25. ^ Stagecoach Gold is Coming to the South West Stagecoach South West 29 July 2013
  26. ^ https://wwwstagecoachbuscom/promos-and-offers/south-west/fly-the-south-west-falcon
  27. ^ Stagecoach South West Fleet Allocation Period 5 - 2013/14 Stagecoach 15 September 2013

External linksedit

  • Stagecoach South West website
  • Showbus gallery

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