20 Nov 2017
Stagecoach has announced that, starting 2 January 2018, it is introducing a new timetable on its North Devon Wave (21/21A) bus route.
The new timetable is focussed on improving reliability and, in order to mitigate against the impact of worsening traffic congestion, sees the operator investing over £100,000 into the annual running costs.
The overall frequency of the service will remain the same, with buses running up to every 15 minutes between Bideford, Barnstaple and Braunton and up to every 30 minutes to Westward Ho! and Ilfracombe. However, more time will be allowed throughout the route to ensure that journeys can run more closely to the timetable. In the morning rush hour, additional journeys will run from Bideford and Ilfracombe to help improve commuter journeys and better cater for school movements.
The changes follow a particularly difficult period on the route where diverted traffic from the closed road through Muddiford has caused sustained, heavy congestion in Braunton.
Robert Williams, Commercial Director for Stagecoach South West said “We understand that reliability is key for our customers and they expect reliable through links to Barnstaple Station, Petroc College and Green Lanes. Recent congestion issues have impacted on us being able to deliver these to the standard we – and our customers - would like.
“By introducing these changes, we are doing everything possible to improve this situation and avoid delays from one side of the route affecting the other. However, it is a shame that we have to make such a substantial financial investment to literally stand still at certain times of day.
“Alongside these improvements, we are continuing to make the case for improved priority measures for bus users as, through using our services; it is they who ultimately help reduce both congestion and pollution on our roads.”
Stagecoach has also announced it would like to hear customer views on proposed changes to local services in Barnstaple and Bideford (11, 15 and 19). Originally introduced in 2016, many aspects of the services were designed around feedback from local residents. However, the feedback has not yet translated into high enough passenger numbers to make the routes fully sustainable for the future.
Customers can review the proposed timetables online at www.stagecoachbus.com/barnstaple and submit their views to by email firstname.lastname@example.org no later than Friday 8 December. Whilst all feedback is welcome, Stagecoach will not be able to respond to everyone individually. The final timetables for these routes will be introduced from Monday 4 February 2018.