Stagecoach South West announced today the launch of the South West Falcon: the first dedicated 24/7 coach service connecting major locations across the South West.
- Stagecoach launching first 24/7 coach service connecting the South West region
- Investment of £2.5m in fleet of eight new coaches, all with free Wi-Fi
- Service starts Sunday 14th February with 19 journeys a day, 7 days a week
- From 14 to 27 February all journeys will cost just £1
- Thereafter normal fares start from just £5 for under 25s and OAPs
The service starts on Sunday 14th February (3.30am departure from Plymouth and 7am departure from Bristol) and will operate 19 journeys a day, 7 days a week between Plymouth, Exeter, Taunton, Bristol Airport and Bristol City Centre, allowing passengers to travel to their chosen destinations both day and night.
To celebrate the launch of Falcon single and return journeys will initially cost just £1(14-27 February). From the end of February, normal fares will apply, all of which make Falcon a cost effective alternative to the train. These include £5 return journeys anywhere along the route for under 25’s and OAP’s and adult returns from just £7.50. All return fares are valid for up to 28 days. Weekly and monthly ticket options for regular commuters will also be available, with prices starting from only £20 a week.
The eight brand new coaches represent a £2.5 million investment by Stagecoach. All feature free Wi-Fi as well as air conditioning, leather seats and charging sockets.
Bob Dennison, Managing Director of Stagecoach South West, said: “Falcon is a bold new step in making it easier for people to travel across the region. It’s a ‘round the clock’ service between the main towns and cities across the South West plus Bristol Airport.
“I am confident this new 24/7 connection will prove extremely popular with commuters, University students, shoppers, day trippers and, of course, holidaymakers flying from Bristol.”
Steve Hindley, Chair of Heart of the South West Local Enterprise Partnership, said “We welcome this new round-the-clock service connecting major towns and cities in the heart of the South West. We support and campaign for improvements across the full breadth of the transport agenda – road, rail and air – so this new services adds real value to the connectivity of the area.”
Bryony Chetwode, from Travelwatch South West, added, "The Falcon enables people to travel across the whole of the South West easily, frequently and reliably – and at a great price. The launch of the Falcon marks a positive development in the region's network of public transport. Passengers will really benefit from this streamlined service which is time efficient and passenger friendly and Stagecoach is to be commended."
Liz Macnaughton, Commercial Manager – Ground Transportation, Bristol Airport said, “We are delighted to welcome the Falcon coach service which will give customers from key catchment areas easy access to and from Bristol Airport. We are committed to working with transport partners on improving surface access to the Airport now and in the future. This is the first time a service will be available to customers from Plymouth, Exeter and Taunton and I am sure it will be a success.”
Falcon will run up to every hour during the day and at various times overnight, providing connections to the South West’s main towns and cities as well as a 24 hour service to Bristol International Airport, the region’s busiest transport hub. Journeys are timed to meet the needs of commuters, leisure and holiday travellers.
Falcon is a ‘turn up and go’ service, with tickets, including weekly season tickets, bought in cash direct from the driver. A select number of tickets will also be available to pre-book via www.megabus.com, where fares will be available from as little as £1 plus 50p booking fee. 4 week season tickets will be available to buy online at www.stagecoachbus.com. All 1 and 4 week season tickets will be issued on StagecoachSmart cards.
Stagecoach is holding a number of roadshows to promote the new service at Taunton (Castle Green) on Thursday 11th February, Exeter (Princesshay) on Friday 12th February and finishing in Bristol (Broad Quay) on Saturday 13th February. Here, people will be able to step aboard one of the new coaches, find out more about the service and pick up copies of the new timetable.
More details of the new service, including fares information and the full timetable, will be announced shortly online at www.swfalcon.com.