More trains on the Tarka Line

PUBLISHED: 10:22 19 September 2008 | UPDATED: 22:21 15 June 2010

DEVON County Council and First Great Western are implementing major improvements to the Exeter to Barnstaple train service from December 15 this year to give the line its best ever service.

DEVON County Council and First Great Western are implementing major improvements to the Exeter to Barnstaple train service from December 15 this year to give the line its best ever service.

With financial support from Devon County Council, there will be an hourly service throughout most of the day on Mondays to Saturdays.

The new improved timetable is a product of the on-going partnership between First Great Western and the County Council to improve rail services across Devon, and also input from the North Devon Rail Users Group.

The new service will include two additional trains each way, hourly departure times from Exeter and Barnstaple, and all trains serving Exeter Central as well as St David's Stations.

Devon County Council Leader Brian Greenslade said: "The enhanced service will provide a boost to Barnstaple and help to provide more seats following another summer of very heavy loadings on some trains. It is an excellent example of the train operators and local authorities working together and we will be pressing Government to recognise, by allocating more and better carriages for this and other lines, the very important role that local train services play in promoting sustainable transport in Devon."

Andrew Haines, Chief Operating Officer of First Great Western, commented: "The use of the Tarka Line continues to grow strongly with a record of 320,000 trips expected in 2008, up by more than 50% on the 2001 passenger levels. We are very pleased to be working closely with Devon on service enhancements as well as providing better passenger facilities at our stations across the county."

John Phillips, Chairman of North Devon Rail Users Group, said: "We very much welcome the new hourly service, which has been a long term ambition of our group, and we should like to pay tribute to First Great Western and Devon County Council for their work in achieving this major improvement to services on the Tarka Line. It is a major step forward and recognises the growing importance of the line in meeting the travel needs of people in North and Mid Devon.


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