Operator commits to maintaining the discount until the rail network is repaired
Stagecoach has confirmed a package of measures to help communities affected by the closure of the storm-damaged railway line at Dawlish in Devon.
Around 80 metres of sea wall was destroyed by high tides and storms last week, causing a significant stretch of railway to collapse into the sea. Work is underway to repair the sea wall, but Network Rail estimated that the damage means the line between Exeter St David’s and Newton Abbot will not re-open until mid-March at the earliest.
Stagecoach, which operates around 330 buses across the south-west of England, is discounting single and return fares on key routes in Devon by up to 50%.
The reduced fares are available from today on its Hop2, Hop11 and B bus services, for all stops along the Coast between Starcross and Newton Abbot.
The operator is further extending the travel zones covered by its multi-journey tickets to include areas affected by rail disruption. The zone for its Torbay Dayrider and Megarider tickets is being expanded to include journeys between Teignmouth, Newton Abbot and Torquay. This follows the announcement by Stagecoach that it was extending the coverage of its ‘Exeter Plus’ Dayrider and Megarider zone to include Dawlish.
Stagecoach also confirmed that it is accepting First Great Western rail tickets on its bus journeys between Exeter and Newton Abbot while rail services remain disrupted.
Michael Watson, Managing Director of Stagecoach South West, said: “Communities in the southwest are facing a daily struggle against the impact of some of the most severe and relentless weather conditions we’ve ever seen.
“Transport is absolutely vital to our region to get people to work and ensure they can get on as best they can with their daily lives. At times like this it’s important we all pull together.”
Anne Maris Morris, MP for Newton Abbot, commented: “Minimising the disruption for the travelling public both practically and financially is crucial while we put in place a more resilient railway line at Dawlish.
“I welcome this announcement from Stagecoach about further fare reductions and rail tickets being accepted on buses which will remain in place until the train line is up and running again.”
Stagecoach has pledged that the special fares and extended travel zones will remain in place until the railway line at Dawlish is reopened.