09/19/2019 | News release | Distributed by Public on 09/19/2019 06:13
Posted on: 19 September 2019
The Sunday rail service between Okehampton and Exeter has had its most successful season on record.
The service attracted more than 7,800 passenger trips during this year's summer season - the highest figure recorded over the past 18 years.
The train operates every Sunday between May and September with four journeys each day. Devon County Council subsidises the operation, with the service provided by GWR (Great Western Railway).
The line provides a link into Exeter city centre as well as access to Okehampton, Dartmoor and Tavistock. This year saw a new bus link provided by the Devon & Cornwall Rail Partnership, linking Okehampton, Lydford, Brentor, Tavistock and Gunnislake stations, making it possible to enjoy round trips via Okehampton and the scenic Tamar Valley rail lines.
Councillor Andrea Davis, Devon County Council Cabinet Member for Development, Infrastructure and Waste, said: 'Congratulations to everyone involved in running and promoting the Sunday rail service. It's incredible to achieve these record figures for passenger journeys and it's great to see so many people using the service to visit Exeter, Okehampton and Dartmoor without using a car. It also demonstrates the growing demand to travel on this line as efforts continue to re-introduce regular services to Okehampton.'
Councillor Kevin Ball, Devon County Councillor for Okehampton Rural, said: 'These figures are fantastic and demonstrate there is the appetite to use a regular passenger service between Okehampton and Exeter. I want to thank Devon County Council and GWR for continuing to support the service, but most of all everyone who used it again this year. We have stories of people using the service to travel on into the outskirts of the network and even abroad. If anyone had any doubt a regular passenger service wouldn't be supported, surely these figures dispel them!'
Great Western Managing Director Mark Hopwood said: 'We are very grateful to Devon County Council for their on-going support for the Okehampton summer services and I am delighted that so many people were able to use them this year.'
This year's Sunday Service passenger trip numbers compare with around 6,600 in 2002 and almost 6,500 last year.