Stagecoach has announced a major increase in its bus services across Devon, following the relaxation of lockdown restrictions.

During the worst of the coronavirus crisis, services were pared down to emergency timetables, but from Sunday, June 14, most North Devon routes will return to normal. Changes have been made on board the buses to maintain social distancing, with some seats blocked off to keep passengers two metres apart.

A strict cleaning regime has been introduced to keep ‘touch points’ in bus stations and on board vehicles sanitised, to keep passengers and staff safe from infection. Most of Stagecoach’s North Devon bus services are set to revert to their pre-lockdown timetables.

Route 19, serving North Devon District Hospital, will have a new timetable with a journey from the hospital at 20.15, arriving at Barnstaple bus station at 20.23, to connect with other services.

Route 6/6A, Bude-Okehampton-Exeter, will have new Monday to Saturday and Sunday timetables, with more frequent buses than the emergency timetable.

Mike Watson, managing director of Stagecoach South West, said: “We are currently closely monitoring our services and adding additional buses in to provide extra capacity when needed.

“By returning to our previous service levels in most cases, from the 14th June, we will have much better frequency than is currently in place to help us keep people moving safely.”

“We’ve revised some of our services in response to the changing needs and travel patterns of our customers and to improve reliability.

“Our teams have worked hard over the last few months to allow better connections for key workers, and to keep essential travellers moving.

“By working closely with local businesses and hospitals, we have built up strong relationships that have helped us to deliver services to better suit the needs of our communities.”

From Monday, June 15, it will be compulsory to wear a face covering on all public transport. This does not have to be a surgical mask; it can be a scarf or bandanna pulled up to cover the nose and mouth, and tied at the back of the head.

To view the latest timetables visit the Stagecoach South West website.