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06 Jan 2015
Monday 9th February 2015 - Stagecoach Southwest has announced it will be reintroducing the Hop12 to Torquay Town Centre from Monday February 9th 2015. This follows recent disruption to its services due to works taking place to regenerate the Fleet Street shopping experience in Torquay’s main town centre. To celebrate the reintroduction of the Hop12, Stagecoach is giving traders on Union Street and Fleet Street five Torbay Dayrider tickets each to pass onto their customers. These will be pre-stamped for travel on Valentine's Day to encourage customers to show local business a little love on the most romantic day of the year.
Since the Fleet Street roadworks started on 5th January 2015, resulting in the bus operator having to divert its services, traders throughout the town centre have seen a significant reduction in their customer numbers and have been eager to re-establish a more direct bus link. The roadworks are the latest phase of work undertaken by Torbay Council in Fleet Street and are designed to provide more space for pedestrians and improve facilities for those waiting to catch buses.
Michael Watson, Managing Director of Stagecoach South West, met with traders last week to discuss their concerns in more detail. He explained that, following the previous year’s closure of the same stretch of road, lessons had been learned and the latest set of diversions were designed to maintain regular and reliable bus services across the whole network. However, he also agreed that traders need good bus links to support their businesses by bringing customers to their doors. Re-routing the Hop12 diversion would offer the best scope to achieve this as, out of all Torbay routes, it carries the highest number of passengers and has a frequency of up to every 10 minutes in both directions.
Michael commented: “As a business that has also been directly affected by the Fleet Street road works we have a lot of sympathy with local traders. We were clear that we did not want the road to close as it forms an important link in our network and, since the closure started, we have seen a reduction in our passenger numbers.
“I am therefore delighted to be able to re-route the Hop12 as the first step to bringing buses back to Torquay Town Centre and I hope customers take advantage of the free Dayriders on offer to show local businesses a little love this coming Valentine’s Day.”
John Docherty, owner of Dot’s Pantry and Chairman of the Torbay Town Centres Company, added “I am so pleased that we have the no 12 Bus re-routed through Union St in Torquay as sadly several traders have suffered in the few weeks that Union St has not had the service. What is heart warming is the level of co-operation once the problem was identified - working together is in my view the recipe for success in the Bay and here we have a fine example of Traders, Stagecoach and the Council working together to find a solution.”
Details of the new diversion route for the Hop12 are:
From Newton Abbot buses will follow their normal route to Castle Circus Library, then divert via Union Street, Pimlico, Abbey Road and pick up the existing diversion route at Lucius Street.
From Torquay Cary Parade buses will follow the existing diversion route to Tor Hill Road, then divert via Union Street, Pimlico, Abbey Road after which they will return to Tor Hill Road, then Higher Union Street and pick up their normal route from Castle Circus.
All other bus routes will continue on their current diversions until the works are completed. Works to Fleet Street have been taking place at intervals during the past two years to with the final stage starting in January 2015 to be completed by Spring 2015.