X52 Jurassic Coaster

Bid for County support for X52 bus service fails

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Councillor Roger Croad, the County Cabinet Member for Transportation, has told me that they won’t subsidise the peak services on the X52 route, because the number of ‘unique’ passengers who couldn’t use another service – people going from Beer to Exeter and from Seaton to the RD&E – is too small to justify this. So the service will contract to two off-peak buses a day in each direction from 2nd September. If you value those, remember to use them!
I think it’s shortsighted to push travellers from our area into Exeter into cars when the city is increasingly clogged up – it was completely gridlocked for hours one day last week.

County Council will ‘look at’ support for X52 bus from Seaton and Beer to Exeter

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IMG_0272At Devon County Council yesterday, I asked Councillor Roger Croad, Cabinet Member for Transportation, if the Council would support peak services on the X52 Jurassic Coaster bus services, which are threatened with closure by First Wessex.
First Wessex proposes to run only two off-peak buses a day in each direction from September, instead of the current five peak and off-p
eak services. While better than nothing, these will be inadequate for people in Seaton and Beer who want to work or study in Exeter or get to appointments at the Royal Devon and Exeter Hospital. Relying just on these services, people would barely be able to spend an hour in Exeter before having to get the bus back.
This is the only service direct from Seaton and Beer to the RD&E and this narrow window will not enable people to get to appointments. Using other services, people in Beer who want to get to the hospital will have to change twice in Seaton and Exeter Bus Station and the journey which currently takes an hour will take more than two hours each way, making it arduous and impractical for many people.
Councillor Croad initially replied to suggest that people could use these alternative routes, but in a supplementary question, I suggested that since hospital services are increasingly being centralised in the RD&E, the withdrawal of direct bus services discriminates against people without cars in communities like Seaton and Beer which are on the periphery of Devon. Seaton is further from the RD&E than any other town in Devon and has the oldest population profile of any town in Devon. We need direct public transport links to the acute hospital in Exeter.
Councillor Croad then said that if I would meet him afterwards, he would discuss the issue with me. We later talked and he agreed to look further at the question. My supplementary question and the reply can be viewed here 1:47:50 to 1:49:15.

X52 Jurassic Coaster bus service – use it or lose it!

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jurassic-coaster-appIt is uncertain whether this service, currently 5 times a day from Colyford, Seaton and Beer to Exeter and westwards to Lyme Regis, will continue after 2nd September – and if it does, it may be further reduced to 5 instead of 6 days a week and from 5 to 4 return daily journeys, possibly losing the early morning journey to Exeter.

First Wessex, who run the service, are currently tendering for a new service with the County Council. I will be discussing this issue with the bus company and the County Council. If you have concerns about the loss or reduction of this service, please write to Simon Newport (simon.newport@firstgroup.com) and me (cllrmartinshaw@gmail.com), letting us know how changes will affect your lives. David Morgan, the indefatigable Seaton campaigner who has alerted me and the Town Council to the issues, has suggested a loop to Colyton – would you use that? In the meanwhile, consider the X52 as an alternative to the car!