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Railwatch 084 - June 2000

South West

By Gerard Duddridge (G.A.Duddridge@exeter.ac.uk)

St Ives Park and Ride According to the local press in April the owner of the access road to the car park at Lelant Saltings may refuse to issue a licence to the district council for its use this summer. This appears to be in response to a refusal by them to allow a planning application to build houses on the neighbouring amusement park. If the park and ride scheme was axed it would result in considerable congestion through Carbis Bay to St Ives. We have written to Wales & West suggesting they allow use of St Erth car park until the dispute is resolved.

Car park price rise For some time the cost of parking at Exeter St Davids has exceeded the cost of some local return journeys to places such as Exmouth. With the station being on just one city bus route it was always going to be difficult to persuade more people to use their local rail service. Now the prices are even higher since Great Western handed over their station car parks to Apcoa. Prices range from £4.60 to £2.50 per day depending on how close you park to the station, while the price in the main car park for five or more days has increased by 12.5% to £18. However, what has incensed rail users most has been a doubling of the weekly charges at Tiverton Parkway from £7.50 to £15 in cash. Also the fact that there is a risk of a large fine for those who need to stay away longer than planned and overstay their time. In the case of Totnes the local rail users group is campaigning against the new car parking regime.

Okehampton Sunday servicesýThe summer Sunday service from Exeter to Okehampton will be running again, but with only five return trips. An added attraction this year should be the Dartmoor Pony diesel shuttle train which will be run by a private operator between Okehampton and Meldon Quarry. Regrettably those who could help see the line reopened to Tavistock remain resolutely against any reinstatement beyond Meldon. The route would have been useful on Easter Sunday when once again due to engineering work passengers had to use rail replacement buses.

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