Service opitimised

SIR — I am not entirely certain that knocking even ten minutes off the journey time would make a huge difference to most people s perception of the Barnstaple to Exeter rail route. It is one on which the scenery is to be enjoyed, in the knowledge that gen

SIR - I am not entirely certain that knocking even ten minutes off the journey time would make a huge difference to most people's perception of the Barnstaple to Exeter rail route. It is one on which the scenery is to be enjoyed, in the knowledge that generally good value fares, a regular hourly service and delivery right into Exeter city centre are all there for the asking without the tribulations of driving.

The present service pattern is optimised in respect of speed and frequency and I fear the reality of a faster service would be at the expense of frequency of services. It so happens that Eggesford and Crediton are well-placed as 'crossing points' and enable the hourly service to be operated at present speeds.

New trains currently being built for London and the West Midlands are apparently encountering problems resulting in late delivery. Their arrival will trigger a 'cascade' of trains from those regions to the West Country. The process was due to start this summer - it may now be delayed by up to a year.

John Patston, Northam.


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