Don't miss a story sign up to the North Devon Gazette's FREE daily newsletter CLICK HERE

New buses launched amid calls for measures to protect local services

13:31 05 June 2013

The sun shone as crowds gathered to admire the new buses.

The sun shone as crowds gathered to admire the new buses.


Cuts to local network would impact on rural communities, warns MP.

NORTH Devon MP Nick Harvey has asked the Government for measures to protect local bus services in the next Spending Round.

In the week that Stagecoach launched a £4 million fleet of new buses for North Devon, Mr Harvey has stressed the importance of bus links and the impact that further cuts could have on the area.

With bus services already having faced significant cuts, the MP and other Liberal Democrat colleagues have written to Chief Secretary Danny Alexander to outline alternatives that could safeguard bus routes.

Mr Harvey said: “Good local bus services are vital to connect our rural communities in North Devon.

“Through getting people to jobs, appointments, education and training, they are also essential to achieving the Government’s core objectives of getting people into work, increasing skills and promoting economic growth.

“The Bus Service Operators Grant (BSOG) was reduced by 20 per cent last year and funding has also decreased for local authority transport services.

“It’s also clear from discussions with local authorities that the concessionary pass scheme for older and disabled people is underfunded and does not cover the costs of the scheme to councils and bus operators.

“Bus links are so important in North Devon, and we need to look at new ways to make sure our rural lifelines are protected.

“I hope the Treasury will consider some of our suggestions – like pooling funding from all the Government Departments that benefit from local bus services.”

On Wednesday, Stagecoach’s 22 new North Devon Wave buses were unveiled in Barnstaple Square.

The buses are built to the latest environmental standards and represent the single biggest investment in Stagecoach’s North Devon bus network to date.

Timetables will see an increase in journeys in the evening and the Scania Enviro 400 buses will operate between Ilfracombe, Braunton, Barnstaple, Instow, East the Water, Bideford and Westward Ho! and Appledore.

Michelle Hargreaves, managing director of Stagecoach South West, said: “These buses are a huge investment and it’s thanks to the people of North Devon that have used our buses for the last few years.

“Without them this just wouldn’t have been possible.”

Councillor Valerie Elkins, Barnstaple’s deputy mayor, had the honour of cutting the ribbon to officially launch the fleet into action.

“It’s a fantastic investment for the area,” said Cllr Elkins.

“I hope this will open the door for other companies to invest here.”

Torridge District Council’s deputy leader Councillor Roger Johnson also attended the launch event.

He said: “It was my wife’s birthday a few days ago and we got the bus back and it was great; you didn’t have to rush off or worry about having a drink.

“It’s just a wonderful way of getting around the area and I think these new buses will be brilliant for that.”

Related articles

1 comment

  • Great news, saw the Buses in Barnstaple today. So when will Combe Martin be getting a decent Bus service, after 6.00 PM and on Sundays ? Any time soon? It is summer after all. There are tourists, people working etc. Our Bus service is shameful.

    Report this comment


    Wednesday, June 5, 2013

Other News Stories

Yesterday, 10:00
Go North Devon staff and volunteers collecting for the SOS Appeal. Picture: Tony Freeman

Appeal to North Devon companies to help preserve ring and ride plus shopmobility services

Read more
Yesterday, 08:17
Was this artwork created by a celebrity? Place your bid in the Children's Hospice SW charity online auction

Children’s Hospice South West hosts secret online charity auction

Read more
Fri, 17:20
Libby Ross of Devon and Severn IFCA tags a blonde ray in Bideford Bay. Picture: Steph Davies

Fishermen join tagging scheme to prove ray stocks are abundant off the North Devon coast

Read more
Fri, 15:25
Frederick and Agnes Reed

American family seeking to reunite their grandfather with his beloved wife, who is buried somewhere in Bideford

Read more
Fri, 13:38
North Devon District Hospital in Barnstaple. Picture: Andy Keeble

Healthcare trust to keep impact on services minimal throughout industrial action

Read more
Fri, 12:39
The Coca-Cola Christmas lorry will be in Barnstaple Square until 8pm today. Picture: Andy Keeble

Famous red lorry brings festive cheer to town Square

Read more
Thu, 16:51
Fore Street Christmas market will be undercover this year. Picture: Sally Almond

Sunday’s event will go ahead as planned, but undercover in case of inclement weather

Read more
Thu, 15:19
The proposed hotel in Westward Ho!

Planning inspector overturns Torridge District Council decision to refuse ‘in principle’ plans for 15-bed ‘Whotel’

Read more
Thu, 12:05
Could Eleanor Grant's song In Your Arms be a Christmas number one?

Teenage singer’s song for new animated movie about the Louisa lifeboat launch makes its bid for festive chart success

Read more
Thu, 10:29
Abi Calvert and Darcy Baldock at the Ilfracombe Lighting of the Lights.

‘Best crowd in years’ as thousands gather to kick off ‘combe’s Christmas

Read more

Christmas in North Devon

Christmas in North Devon

Christmas Magazine

Click here for your ultimate guide to
Christmas in North Devon

Local Weather



max temp: 11°C

min temp: 10°C

Most Read News

Great British Life

Great British Life

Useful Links

Advertise in the paper
Submit a Story
Subscribe to the paper
North Devon Football League
Order Photos
Family notices
Google Plus Page
Reader Travel

Family Notices 24

Read Online

Read the North Devon Gazette e-edition E-edition

Search for a job in Devon

Local business directory

North Devon's trusted business finder

Find planning applications