ANOTHER appeal has been made to increase rural bus services to Dawlish and Teignmouth.

Dawlish councillor Alison Foden has been campaigning for improvements to services in rural areas for several years.

Her latest complaint comes after Stagecoach updated its bus timetables for Devon.

Although no cuts have been proposed for services in Teignbridge, Cllr Foden says some routes need extra buses, particularly during peak times.

She said: ‘The people of Teignbridge deserve better, fast and frequent buses that can be relied upon.

‘It is now urgent that we call for increased Government funding for the whole of Teignbridge’s bus services.’

She said while it was good no cuts had been announced in Teignbridge, it was still ‘disappointing’ that the frequency the number 2 bus is still just every 30 minutes, and with no extra buses during peak travelling times before 9am and after 3.30pm. 

Also the B bus service from Exeter Science Park to Exminster with a few services to Teignmouth has been reduced, meaning it will travel between the Science Park and Exminster only. 

She argued that on the other side of the estuary, the Exmouth bus service 57 from April 2023 has increased frequency by 100 per cent meaning buses will now be every 15 minutes, compared to the current two an hour. 

Cllr Foden commented: ‘I am happy for those in Exmouth and along the route that will now have a far more regular bus service and I understand that the Exmouth population is much larger than Dawlish or Teignmouth.

‘However, when you consider the towns and villages along the route of the number 2 bus service – Dawlish, Exminster, Kenton, Starcross and Teignmouth, to name just some – it is unfair that this side of the Exe estuary, the Teignbridge district, gets a poor deal when it comes to public bus services.

‘We need to change the record of bus services on rural routes in Devon being less frequent, reliable and efficient, and seen as inferior, when compared to bus services within cities and large towns such as Exeter; and change it to bus services on urban and rural routes being just as equally reliable, frequent, efficient and fair-priced.’

She believes the best way of increasing bus passenger numbers is to increase the number of fast, regular and efficient bus services.

She said it was good news the £2 single fare cap on bus travel in Devon had been extended by three months to but I worries about future bus services in Teignbridge after that date. 

She said: ‘With all the planned housing developments in Dawlish, Exminster and Teignbridge, together with those likely in the future as set out in the Teignbridge Local Plan, it is essential that funding for extra bus services to these new communities is campaigned for and set aside now.’