County Council unable to step in to save Barnstaple Park and Ride service

Barnstaple Park and RideBarnstaple Park and Ride

Posted on: 17 March 2016

Devon County Council has confirmed that it has been unable to secure a replacement service from the Barnstaple Park and Ride, following Stagecoach’s announcement that it is withdrawing the commercial service next week.

Stagecoach is ending its commercial service from the Park and Ride after Thursday 24 March.

The County Council has considered a number of alternatives to continue a service. However, based on passenger numbers and the cost of replacement, it has not been possible to find a level of service which was both affordable and sustainable.

Councillor Stuart Hughes

Cllr Stuart Hughes

Councillor Stuart Hughes, Devon County Council Cabinet Member for Highway Management, said: “We have considered a number of options to come up with a replacement, including reducing the timetables to minimise the cost but, unfortunately, the cost is too high for us based on the passenger numbers and it simply isn’t cost effective.”

In the longer term the current Park and Ride site is earmarked in the North Devon Local Plan for the expansion of Park School.

The County Council has submitted an expression of interest to the Heart of the South West LEP for funding for a park and change site at Roundswell, which could link to bus services to any potential Larkbear urban extension site, via Petroc College. A future park and change site is also planned at the Westacott urban extension, which would be accessed off an improved Landkey junction.

Cllr John Mathews

Cllr John Mathews

Councillor John Mathews, Devon County Councillor for Barnstaple South, said: “I’m obviously disappointed that there isn’t going to be a service from the park and ride, but it’s just not viable for the County Council at the present time. In the longer term we have to look at an alternative site for a park and ride on that side of town.”

The decisions by Stagecoach means that there will be no bus services from the park and ride site in Barnstaple after the bus company ends its service on Thursday 24 March. The Service 19 will instead operate from North Devon Hospital to Appledore via Barnstaple, A39, East the Water, Bideford and Northam. This provides a link to the Hospital from Appledore, Northam and Bideford. During the evening and on Sunday, the 21A will continue to serve East the Water and Appledore. The Sunday service between Barnstaple and North Devon Hospital is unchanged.

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