I couldn’t agree more with Pam (Traveller’s Tales). My son recently travelled by public transport from mid Wales to Torrington. His 200 mile plus journey took 5 hours to get to Exeter, including a 40 minute change at Birmingham, then the final 30 miles took 3 hours to get to Torrington, via the train to Barnstaple and local bus.
The lack of coordination and the lack of consideration for anyone who doesn’t use a car in northern Devon is a disgrace, and is both shocking and depressing for anyone who has lived elsewhere.
As Pam suggests, an express bus hourly from Barnstaple to Bideford (and to Ilfracombe) is an obvious requirement. Given that we already have regular interval hourly trains for part of each day and that the conversion of the rest of the timetable to this pattern should now be insisted on, it would not be rocket science to coordinate the resulting all-day service with such a bus connection.
Elsewhere in the civilised world through ticketing is being developed too. Combine that with a faster train journey (much gain, no pain and no cost as NDPTU sets out) and we would be well on the way to a transport system fit for this century.
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