With many thanks to Tom Pearce I can bring you this photo of Jackett's Coaches Dart, BX54 DLF, out operating on the very first day of the new service 85. For any of those who don't know, Jackett's have taken to the A386 to provide a link between Plymouth and Tavistock, following vaguely the same route as First Devon and Cornwall's 86, excluding the 'branches' to Derriford Hospital and into Woolwell, giving Jackett's 85 a competitive 53 minute journey time, versus 1hr 4minutes on the 86; but remains 4 minutes slower than the 83, not that this amount of time will really be noticed by anyone! Being under the full hour enables the 85 to run a bi-hourly service from 7 in the morning until 6 in the evening, very well timed both for commuters into Plymouth with a 0730 journey from Tavistock, as well as a 0930, ideal to pick up the concessionary fare users.
Indeed it has been reported that loadings were promising for the route's first day, and no doubt as word spreads, we can hope loadings will be boosted. As has been thoroughly discussed, this is a brave, commercial venture by a relatively new company, but certainly a worthy one. For years First has well and truly held the monopoly on Tavistock services, with fares abnormally high for the distance involved, so Jackett's £5 return will likely be attractive, but only I'd presume to the occasional user. First of course offer their 'Tavi Linx Week' ticket, at £26.50, so presuming workers are travelling 5 days a week, an extra £1.50 seems worth it for the added convenience of 8 times the amount of buses during the day, as well as use of the town service 89 on arrival in Tavistock. I'd expect therefore, shoppers and occasional users will be the main users of the 85, attracted in by a noticeable decrease in what they're used to paying. This does of course rely on their day being fairly well planned though, else you may face quite a long wait!