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Partnership to launch integrated university campus bus service for new academic year

Falmouth University (Falmouth) and the University of Exeter in Cornwall (UoE) recently tendered for an inter-campus bus service through their shared service delivery partner, Falmouth Exeter Plus (FX Plus), to reflect the needs of the majority of students and staff who travel to the Penryn Campus by bus.

First Bus won the contract and First Fal River (FFR) – a commercial arrangement between First Bus and Fal River Links – will operate a new bus service for students, staff and local residents between the Penryn and Falmouth Campuses from Monday 8 September for a five-year period.

The service will cover the following circular route:

-      Penryn Campus (Tremough)

-      Penryn Town

-      Penryn Bridge

-      Falmouth Dracaena Crossroads

-      Falmouth Killigrew Street

-      Falmouth The Moor

-      Falmouth Campus (Woodlane)

-      Falmouth Earle’s Retreat

-      Falmouth The Moor

-      Falmouth Killigrew Street

-      Falmouth Dracaena Crossroads

-      Penryn Harbour Office

-      Penryn The Sidings

-      Penryn Campus (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,” explains 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,” he adds.

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,” explains 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.”

“Mussel Cards offering unlimited travel on all First Buses in Cornwall, Fal River Links ferries and the Maritime Line railway line which runs between Falmouth and Truro, and promotional offers from local attractions, shops and food and drink outlets for 52 weeks of the year also form part of the new arrangements for students and staff,” adds Ryan Watts of Fal River Links, who graduated from Falmouth University in 2013.

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 during the summer.

Any queries or feedback about this new service should be emailed to: Ryan@falriver.co.uk at First Fal River.