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Western Greyhound: uncertainty over new management and their plans for the company

On 10 December 2014, it was announced that Mr Michael Bishop had acquired the whole share capital of Western Greyhound from the existing owners. Mr Bishop became the managing director. He apponted as General Manager Mr Adam Smith. Messrs. Bishop and Smith have been involved together in a few other bus companies in the Home Counties and it is unclear whether those operations are particularly successful.

Since the new team took over WG, there have been some signs of progress. More buses have been brought into the Western Greyhound operation, mainly, it seems, surplus buses from their other companies, such as Velvet. I also understand that more drivers have been recruited.

However, as of early February, I am still receiving reports of services being cancelled without warning and passengers have been left in the lurch, e.g. some services have not run from Tregony into Truro in the morning; some services back from Truro to the Roseland have not run.

I have tried to meet with Adam Smith to discuss the prospects for improved services, in particular on the 550/551 routes. I have emailed Mr Smith 3 times with my specific concerns and asked for a meeting with him. I have received no reply to any of my emails. I have also tried turning up at the Summercourt depot to speak to him. On the first two occasions, he was too busy to see me. On the third occasion, when I had arranged an appointment with him, he was unable to see me because an earlier meeting was overruning by an hour. Ironically, the earlier meeting was with Cornwall Council officers. However, what was discussed between Messrs. Bishop and Smith and Cornwall Council was "confidential" so I do not know whether or not there are any grounds for optimism there.

Unfortunately, I have to conclude that the new owners of Western Greyhound don't want to talk to the one Cornwall Councillor who has done more than any other councillor over the past 5 years to promote bus usage in general, and Western Greyhound in particular. So, to be frank, I am not optimistic that bus passengeres in my area will see any real improvements in service in the near future.

However, I just hope that Messrs. Bishop and Smith will, in due course, prove me to be wrong! Until they do, sadly I have to advise residents of my area to use other services where possible, such as the First 27 from Probus. If you have no choice but to use Western Greyhound such as for Tregony residents, you may have to be patient and resilient as you wait for buses that may or may not turn up.


February 2015


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