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Frequently Asked Questions


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General

Who is Western Greyhound?
Western Greyhound is a locally-based, family-run business that has been operating since 1998. We run an extensive bus network throughout Cornwall and into Devon, offering services which frequently connect together to provide excellent journey opportunities in the region. Our fleet can be identified by a smart green and white livery and our routes are numbered in the 500 series. Our buses are reliable because we take immense pride in ensuring a high quality of service, resulting in us recently receiving the prestigious national award for Operating Excellence for Small Fleets for two years running. The company continues to grow from strength to strength, having just taken over the Corlink service and also beating off stiff competition to earn the new Truro Park and Ride tender. If you would like to read a more detailed history of Western Greyhound, wish to view our fleet list or archive photographs vist our enthusiasts and photos webpage.
Why should I use one of your buses instead of my car?
There are lots of reasons to take a Western Greyhound bus rather than the car to where you want to go. For starters, with ever-increasing astronomic fuel prices, you really can save yourself money by taking advantage of our excellent range of single and return fares, our Day Explorer ticket or our season passes for the regular traveller. Avoid further cost and hassle by taking the bus and waving goodbye to the problem of parking. Or take the bus and make a trip of it: using the bus can be part of your day-out experience, whether you are traveling alone, with family or friends. By choosing to switch from the car, we can also all make an obvious positive impact on the environment by reducing county congestion and pollution. Go ‘green’… Take a Western Greyhound bus! Furthermore, glance at our timetables and you’ll see that most of our routes run late into the evening, giving you the option of leaving the car at home and having a night out without worrying about having a drink!

Timetables

How do I know which timetable to look at?
If you know the route number of the bus that you want to use, then just click on the drop-down menu on the homepage and select it, and it will take you straight to the timetable. If you don't know the route number, you may want to look at our route map and identify the service you need. Alternatively, you can look at list of places served and then either select the place that you want to leave from, or the place that you want to go to. It is usually easier to look up the smallest place first, as this may only be served by one bus, rather than a large town which may be served by many buses. You can then select the route that you want from the drop-down menu on the homepage.
How do I read a bus timetable?
Our timetables are split into two halves – one for each direction – and are generally split again into Mondays to Saturdays and Sundays. To find out your bus times, select the block for the direction and the day of travel. Read down the block on the left-hand side for the stop closest to your starting point. Then run your finger across the page until you find the time which most suits you. Read down the column to check that the bus travels all the way to your final destination. If there are no times at your final destination of the journey you have chosen, then chose a different journey. Please always check at the top of the column for any codes as some journeys do not run every day and the codes will tell you this.
How does the 24-hour clock work?
The 24-hour clock is now in wide usage on VCR's, mobile phones and so on. All morning times up to 9.59am are prefixed with a 0 (eg 9.15am is shown as 0915). Afternoon and evening times have 12 added to the hour (eg 2.15pm plus 12 is shown as 1415).
What are timetable codes for?
Please always check at the top of the column for any codes as some journeys do not run every day and the codes will tell you this. Standard codes are used throughout our timetables and are fairly similar to those used on railway timetables. For example, a journey may be marked with a letter such as “x” and will have an explanation on the page to tell you that “x” means that it runs on schooldays only.
When I download a timetable, why can I only see one page?
When you download a copy of our timetable as a pdf, please scroll through the pages using the scroll bar on the right-hand side of your screen or using the wheel on your mouse. You will then be able to read all the pages of the relevant timetable.
I can't download timetables. Can you help?
Our timetables are saved in PDF format (Portable Document Format) which is readable by most modern web browsers. If when clicking a timetable download link it is not opened in your internet browser window, you will need to install a program called capable of reading PDF files. We reccomend ‘Adobe Reader’ to view or print our timetables. If you don’t already have this, a free download is available from their website by clicking here.

Another window will open and you just need to click “Download now” and it will download automatically. It shouldn’t take too long to download but it depends upon your connection, so it may be worth doing this before you go and make a cup of tea to allow it a few minutes to complete! Once you have Adobe reader, all our files will be accessible!

If you have Adobe reader but are getting a ‘drawing error’, this may be because you have an old version of Adobe reader on your computer so we recommend that you update it. The link from our website is for the latest version of Adobe Reader. Once you have the up-to-date software on your computer, you should be able to open the timetables without any problems.

There are other programs that can be used for viewing PDF files although we reccomend Adobe as we can confirm all our PDF's work as they should in this application.

Making a Journey

How do I catch the bus?
This is very simple. Just wait at a bus stop or in a bus station for the bus you want. In rural areas where there are no bus stops, simply wait somewhere where the bus can safely stop. It’s best to be at the bus stop a few minutes before the bus is due. Please note that all bus stops are request stops, so please put your hand out clearly in good time so that the driver can see you. The bus will display the destination and service number at the front, and often also at the side and rear.
How do I get off the bus?
When you want to get off, press the ‘bell’ button, and a light at the front will usually display ‘bus stopping’. If you can't reach a bell, call out to the driver, but please make sure that he or she has heard you.
How do I pay my fare?
When you get on the bus, tell the driver where you want to go, if you want an adult, child or family ticket and if you want a single or a day return, eg “Can I have an adult day return to Plymouth”. Please pay your fare, in cash, to the bus driver when you get on the bus. It is helpful if you have the right fare, particularly in the morning, but do not worry if you can't or do not know the fare as the driver will usually have change to help you. More details about the types of fares available, please head over to the ‘Fares and Tickets’ page.
What about concessionary travel?

The National Concession Bus Pass is available to passengers living in England who are either over 60 or registered disabled.
This pass entitles free travel on buses at ‘off-peak’ times, standardised nationally as 9.30am until 11pm from Monday to Friday, and all day during weekends and bank holidays.
The scheme currently does not permit free travel for those in possession of other concessionary passes issued by authorities outside of England.

Until recently, Cornwall Council allowed passengers with a Cornish National Concession Bus Pass to travel free at any time. However, from 1st January 2011, changes were made to the times of the scheme so that it now operates at ‘off-peak’ times only, bringing it line with national guidelines. Outside these times, concessionary card holders will be required to pay the standard fare for the journey being made. Cornwall Council regrets the need for this change, which is due to the need to make substantial savings in line with national requirements. We would respectfully request that any complaints or queries should be directed towards Cornwall Council rather than Western Greyhound or its staff.

Can I take a pushchair on the bus?
Subject to there being room available, light, folding pushchairs can be taken aboard normally stored without obstruction. Large pram-style, heavy duty push chairs, three-wheelers or travel systems invariably take the place of a passenger and therefore can only be carried if room is available. A number of our buses do have boots and, after checking with the driver, passengers are welcome to store larger pushchairs here. Please note that although we do operate a number of double deckers (where space should not be a problem) the majority of our fleet is midibuses, hence the carriage of a pushchair in the saloon is dependent on space at the discretion of the driver at all times.
Can I take luggage, on the bus?
You may take a reasonable amount of luggage with you at no extra charge.
Can I take a surfboard on the bus?
Due to Health and Safety issues, we regret that we do not carry surfboards, which have fins, in the saloon of the bus. Certain services frequently do have buses with boots and passengers are welcome to put surfboards with fins in the boot if space is available. Alternatively, if you have a board without fins, which is stored in a carry-case, these can be carried inside the bus at the driver’s discretion. Please remember that in all cases the driver retains the right to refuse a surfboard if there is insufficient room or if it is deemed unsafe.
Can I take my bike on the bus?
We have allowed bikes to be carried inside the buses in the past but have found that the pedals and/or chains have caused damage to seat fabric and grease has transferred to bus interiors resulting in damage to passengers clothing and belongings. Therefore, at present non-folding bikes are not carried on our services. Folding bikes are permitted at the driver's discretion, subject to the space available. A folded bike can be taken on all local buses as standard passenger luggage providing it is reasonably clean and preferably packed in a bag or case with the chain covered. There may not always be spare luggage capacity available at busy times and cyclists should take care when choosing journeys. Please remember that your bicycle should be in a reasonably clean condition and drivers have the right to refuse to carry any bicycle which they think might endanger or cause discomfort to other passengers or the bus itself. Certain services frequently do have buses with boots and passengers are welcome to put bikes in the boot if space is available. Service 555 between Padstow and Wadebridge (which people like to use after riding on the Camel Trail) usually have buses with boots but they can't be guaranteed. Bicycles are carried at the owners' risk, and in accordance with our conditions of carriage.
Can I take my dog on the bus?
With exception of Park and Ride buses, we are more than happy to allow dogs on our buses and we provide free travel for our furry friends. All we ask is that they are kept under control, do not sit on the seats and generally do not make a mess on the bus. Travel is at the bus driver’s discretion but it is extremely rare that they come across a reason to refuse travel. If you have a ‘normal’ friendly dog, it is unlikely that you will experience problems but please be aware that drivers do have a right to refuse travel if the dog causes distress to a passenger reacts badly to another animal that is already on the bus.
Can I smoke on the bus?
In accordance with government legislation, Western Greyhound strictly maintains all stipulated smoke-free zones. At no point is smoking permitted in any of our buses, offices or our Newquay Travel Shop by any of our passengers, customers or staff.

Our Service

What fares are available on your services?
Visit our ‘Fares and Tickets’ page for information on our full range of tickets, including Day Explorers, Weekly Tickets and Seasons. If you need information on specific fares, please contact the Passenger Information Team by email or telephone. See our ‘Contact Us’ page for details.
Can you give me information about Truro Park and Ride?
For more information, please visit www.parkfortruro.org.uk
Does Western Greyhound service Newquay Airport?
Western Greyhound is the only bus company providing rapidly-growing Newquay Airport with a regular timetable service. The 556 route connects the airport to Newquay town or Padstow, and provides superb onward connections to Wadebridge, Truro, Bodmin, St. Austell and further a field in Cornwall To view the current timetable for the 556 click here or to visit the Newquay Airport website click here.
Does Western Greyhound service the Eden Project?
We provide regular bus journeys to this popular attraction via our 527 service from Newquay and St Austell. You can view the latest timetable for the 527 here. Save £4 per adult, student or concession, and kids go free when you come by bus – just present your bus ticket at admission for this fantastic money-saving deal. (Children are classed as under 16, or under 18 if in full time education. In both cases, they must be accompanied by an adult to qualify for free admission). For more information about Eden project, click here.
Could my bus service be affected by road closures?
When affected by roadworks there are occasions when buses are unable to follow their normal routes. Those carrying out roadworks try to inform us in advance so diversions can be discussed, as alternatives routes may not always be suitable for buses. Essential roadworks occasionally require roads to be closed, at which time bus services may be temporarily altered, disrupted or suspended. In these circumstances, please consult our Latest News section on our homepage for up-to-date information. Any disruption affecting routes should also be displayed on the individual route pages, when you go to download timetables. If you are in doubt, please contact us on 01637 871 871. Neither the bus operator nor the County Council can guarantee to maintain normal bus services during temporary road closures. We will do our best to get notices in place before any alterations come in force. Unfortunately the final details of closures are sometimes confirmed at very short notice therefore we naturally cannot guarantee to publicise every road closure but will do our best to make you aware of key closures made known to us in advance. We have a fully comprehensive list to decipher – click here to see this week’s list.

For the Enthusiast

Can I visit your Summercourt Depot to take photos of buses?
We would suggest that you visit Newquay Bus station rather than our Summercourt Depot because the majority of our buses will be out of the yard during the day. Nevertheless, if you would still like to visit the depot, this must be pre-arranged by contacting us and specifying the date that you would like to attend and the time (which must be between 0900 and 1600 on a weekday). You will be required to report to the main building on arrival so that a member of staff can accompany you whilst you are on the premises. Please note that you will not be allowed to enter the workshops. Please also be aware that you enter our premises entirely at your own risk and you will be required to comply with all Health and Safety Legislations for your safety and the safety of other persons in the yard. A florescent waistcoat/jacket must be worn at all times when you are outside photographing vehicles.
Where can I learn more about the Western Greyhound fleet?
A comprehensive up-to-date Western Greyhound Fleet List encompasses a great deal of vehicle detail for the enthusiast.
I heard that there is a limited edition of WGL Corgi Models
   how can I get hold of one?
Indeed there is! Currently available are a restricted number of limited edition Corgi models of buses from our fleet. To order yours, please download an order form.

Explaining Common Grievances

Why aren’t all your buses wheelchair-friendly?
The government has introduced legislation to replace normal buses with ‘low-floor’ wheelchair-friendly buses in the transport industry and are aware that it is impossible to change all buses overnight due to the massive capital cost involved. Unfortunately, unlike elsewhere, grant money is not available to bus operators here in Cornwall and as you will appreciate, fleets cannot be disposed of overnight early in their working lives; it has to be a gradual process. Larger buses are not the answer, as the existing buses are already too large for the routes we operate. You may be interested to know that the new low floor buses cost nearly twice as much to buy, use nearly twice the fuel and are significantly more unreliable as well as costing more to maintain than our existing buses. They also carry less passengers! There will therefore be a major cost increase for passengers using these buses, as has been the case in London where it now costs up to £2 for travelling just one stop on a low floor bus. Using a bus from our current fleet, you can travel for miles for £2! Also, up to now, there has not been a wheelchair friendly bus designed which can cope with the narrow country lanes, poor road conditions, traffic calming measures and hilly terrain that that exist in some parts of Cornwall. Surmounting the problem of ground-clearance which the long, flat-floor bus faces is a serious challenge. We have been spending a lot of time testing various mobility buses on our routes but only now are manufacturers coming up with a solution. Although vehicles have recently been designed, at this point in time they are operating on relatively unproven and un-robust technology. If this technological barrier wasn’t enough, we are also faced with the phenomenon of our revenue having fallen because we are instructed to give free travel to National Concessionary Bus Pass holder (including eligible disabled people) we are not being adequately reimbursed by the government who is granting it .

We hope that you appreciate that this is not designed to be unhelpful, but simply to let you know the difficulties that we are up against. Please be assured that the issue remains high on our agenda.
I used to be able to get a direct bus but now need to change buses
   why is this?
We are sorry that you are now forced to change buses. This idiotic situation has been brought about as we are required to comply with new Government legislation. We are totally fed-up with this ludicrous intervention which has forced us to split our routes according to an arbitrary measurement of route mileage. Government is ostensibly supposed to be supporting public transport but by forcing us to split routes is ridiculous in its unnecessary inconvenience to our customers and over-complication of our service. Despite having to suffer this decision, we have increased our services despite the difficulties imposed on us and hope that, in the light of this information, you will agree we are doing the best we possibly can within the circumstances. You can read more about these regulations and our desire to raise the profile of their frustrating effects in an article at the BBC website.
Why don’t the buses connect with the trains at Bodmin Parkway Station?
This is a situation that is constantly reviewed on an on-going basis. Our timetables are set to run on clock-face timetables (which are how 98% of the users want them) and we connect into our own services at Wadebridge and Padstow. Significant sums of money were spent on doubling the Cornish mainline so that trains could also run on a clock-face headway and we could have good connections, but sadly the Department of Transport has not instructed First Great Western to do so, meaning trains arriving at all sorts of different times past the hour. Both ourselves and the Local Authorities have spent a great deal of time and effort trying to encourage the rail industry to introduce clock-face timetables, so that there could be joined up travel with buses, not only at Bodmin but also at many other places where the same problem exists. Unfortunately, this has not been successful. Any bus service is bound to please some customers but upset others - that is life. We are going with what the majority of our customers want which is to maintain the connections with our other bus services all the time, but with trains as far as we can. However, we always monitor the new rail timetables and if it is possible to make adjustments to provide the best possible service for everyone, not just rail users, then we will certainly do so. We recently retimed our evening services, after the train timetable was again changed, to better connect with the late trains and this is working well.
I can’t reach a bell from my seat
   why aren’t there more bells on the bus?
Regrettably, we cannot change where the stop buttons are fitted as that would be illegal. They are fitted where the Construction and Use regulations dictate and the law prevents more stop buttons being fitted on high backed seats and if we were to modify them, we would be in contravention of the law and our buses would be ordered off the road. We understand that this is unhelpful but those are the facts!
I couldn’t see out of the window because it was dirty
   how often do you clean the buses?
Buses also are cleaned regularly. The state of the roads particularly, in the winter is appalling and a clean bus at 06:30 in Newquay can be filthy at 08:30 in Liskeard, giving you the impression it hasn’t been cleaned. Remember buses are working from early in the morning and doing upwards of 200-300 miles a day on dirty narrow lanes and therefore will get very dirty during the course of the day
My seatbelt was broken – what should I do?
We are replacing seat belts daily. They are damaged and often vandalised particularly at school-times and the driver will often not be aware of the problem as the bus left the depot with them all working. Please do tell the driver if a particular one has been vandalised or broken.

Other Information

Do Western Greyhound run day tours or trips?
Due to the simple lack of demand, it is with regret that we have announced that we have stopped running our summer season day tours. However, we will be running occasional trips to events and days out. Check out our Tours and Days Out for the latest information. Of course, we also run lots of regular bus services to various attractions and places of interest around Cornwall. To help you know which timetables to download from our website, we have provided a list of popular days out that can be downloaded here Alternatively, you could also take a look at our list of places served or route map and plan your own day out!
Can I advertise on a Western Greyhound bus?
We have recently re-launched our advertising packages, offering a multitude of diverse and unique advertising spaces on our fleet of single and double-deckers buses. To find out more, speak to someone who can help, or download a brochure head over to the advertising page.
Are your buses available for private charter?
Indeed our buses are available for private use by arrangement with the company. Please visit the ‘Hire a Bus or Coach’ page to find out more and request a free quotation.
I hear you have a vintage red London ‘Routemaster’.
   Can I hire it for my wedding?
Indeed we do retain our popular Routemaster bus, still in its traditional London livery. It has been beautifully and lovingly restored and could prove an ideal mode of transport for that wedding or special event. Please visit the ‘Hire a Bus or Coach’ page to find out more and request a free quotation.

Contacting Western Greyhound

I want additional information about bus times and fares - how do I get in touch?
You can email the Passenger Information Team at info@westerngreyhound.com or call them on 01637 871 871 - lines are open 0700 to 1900 on Mondays to Saturdays and 0930 to 1730 on Sundays. Please be ready to tell us as much information about the journey you are making, or planning to make, so that we are able to help you as quickly and efficiently as possible.
I accidentally left something on the bus
   who should I contact?
If you think that you might have left something on the bus, please get in touch with the Passenger Information Team as soon as you can by email or telephone. See our 'Contact Us' page for details. They will then be able to confirm that we have received and are holding the item for you or log the loss so that we can ensure you are reunited with your property if found. All lost property handed in by a member of the public or discovered by a driver is conveyed to our Travel Shop at Newquay Bus Station. Occasionally, especially in rural areas, you may be able to intercept the item before this occurs by working out when the bus will be back in your village. You are naturally welcome to ask the driver if it is still on the bus, but we are obviously unable to guarantee this will be successful. Once an item comes in to us, if the identity of the owner can be ascertained, be assured that we will get in touch as soon as we can. If this is not possible the item will be logged and safely stored. Please note that it is never our policy to send items back out to you on one of our buses, so please do not embarrass staff by requesting this. Once you have established that we are holding an item of lost property for you by calling our helpline, you are welcome to pop into our Travel Shop at Newquay Bus Station and collect it. After arranging to do so with our staff, the other option is to send us a self-addressed envelope or jiffy bag with sufficient postage attached and we will return the item to you. Please note that any bank cards or credit cards will be destroyed after seven days of retention, and all lost property will be dispensed with after three months.
Who do I contact about erecting bus stops and shelters?
Western Greyhound does not normally take responsibility for the erection or maintenance of bus shelters. This normally rests with the Town, Parish or District Council. Therefore, if you would like to request a new bus shelter, please contact your local council. More information can also be found at the Cornwall County Council website. We are also unable to dig up the pavement to put up bus stops and this has to be done by the Highways Agency at Cornwall County Council. Please contact them directly on 01872 222 000 to request the erection of a bus stop pole. They will then contact us to arrange a site meeting and to put up a new bus stop flag.
I would like to work for Western Greyhound. Who should I contact?
If you go to our ‘Job Vacancies’ page you will gain an overview of what it might be like to work for. Further details of who to contact to progress your interest can be found there.