Workers fight to save 9am train to Exeter

WORRIED commuters say a new and improved timetable for trains between Honiton and Exeter will offer a lesser service for some.

WORRIED commuters say a "new and improved" timetable for trains between Honiton and Exeter will offer a lesser service for some.

The timetable, due to be introduced in December, includes the loss of a train from Honiton at 9am.

It will instead run from 9.18am - too late for many workers.

And, although the frequency of trains is set to increase following major improvement works at Axminster, not all trains will stop at Feniton, Whimple and Pinhoe.

A probation officer, who catches the 9am train to Exeter from Honiton, is among those to have signed a petition.

Angela Browning MP has also been contacted by protestors, who have now had the timetable change confirmed.

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The probation officer told the Herald: "Lots of mums, who drop their kids at school and then rush up to the station, catch this train.

"The change of time has been kept quite secret and it is not being publicised.

"Everyone is so worried. They don't know whether or not to make new arrangements.

"The impact on some people is going to be dreadful. Some mums are going to have to go on the earlier train and find a child minder."

More than 90 people signed a petition opposing the train time change. The signatures were collected over a period of three mornings.

Dawn Flecther, 40, who works as a graphic designer for an advertising agency in Exeter, said: "There will be massive implications for commuters.

"There will also be a big hole in the timetable, with trains not stopping at Feniton, Whimple and Pinhoe.

"It's going to dictate our lives."

As well as being inconvenient for working mums, the time change could see many commuters paying more for their train fares - if they use earlier services, deemed to run at a peak time.

Nobody from South West Trains was available to comment.

Improvement works are being carried out by contractors on behalf of Network Rail.