First Great Western has announced that there will be extra Sunday services on the Avocet Line between Exmouth and Exeter for the six weeks running up to Christmas. Starting next month trains will run every half hour on Sundays, instead of the usual hourly Sunday service.
The additional trains will run each Sunday from November 18 to December 23, to provide an hourly service between 10.00 and 18.00 during the busy Christmas shopping period.
First Great Western Regional Manager, West of England, Julian Crow said:
“A half hourly Sunday service will make using the train much more attractive during the busy weekends before Christmas, and our fares are also good value when compared with the price of driving and parking.
“This also provides a good opportunity for First Great Western and Devon County Council to see how well the extra Sunday services are used – a more frequent Sunday service throughout the year is the next logical step in the development of services on the line, as passenger numbers continue to grow strongly.”
County Councillor Stuart Hughes, Devon County Council cabinet member for highways and transportation said:
“Devon County Council supports this improved Sunday frequency for a trial period in the run up to Christmas.
“The benefits will be felt in both Exeter and Exmouth – along with new shopping opportunities in Exeter city centre, Exmouth has its new Strand and will be holding its Christmas Cracker event on December 1.”
The additional train services are being part funded by Devon County Council and by a grant from the Department for Transport’s Community Rail ‘Designated Lines Fund’, made possible by the recent confirmation of Community Rail status for the Avocet Line.