The following map shows the population density along the railway line between Exeter and Barnstaple. As can be clearly seen, the stations at Exeter, Crediton and Barnstaple serve areas of significant population, while Umberleigh acts as a railhead for the smaller towns of Great Torrington and South Molton, there being a classified road connecting all three but currently without a bus route. In the vicinity of most of the remaining stations, however, the population density is less than 0.5 persons per hectare (0.2 per acre). With the exception of Eggesford, which is currently required as a passing place for trains travelling in opposite directions along the line, one has to question the cost-effectiveness of these remaining stations compared with the need to transport over 1,000 people per day between Barnstaple and Exeter. These four outlying stations — Barnstaple, Umberleigh, Eggesford and Crediton — accounted for more than 90% of the line’s passengers in 2011–2012. (See also station usage figures.)
Stations currently (2013) served by all trains are shown in capital letters. The population densities are based on the 1991 census.
This map was developed by North Devon Public Transport Users with permission from the original in ‘South West Rail Strategy: A Discussion Document’ (Railway Development Society, March 2000).
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