Dartmoor Sunday Rover again in 2016?

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davetheguard

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I've spent some time online today unsuccessfully trying to find out if the Dartmoor Sunday Rover ticket is going to be available again this year.

This combined rail & bus ticket has been available for several years now and is excellent value at £10 for a day's unlimited travel.

Great Western Railway are certainly operating their Sunday Exeter - Okehampton trains again; they start on 15th May. Posters advertising the service are up at stations.

However with only 6 days to go there appears to be no information readily available from Devon County Council about what bus routes will be running this year or even if the ticket will be available at all. This hardly seems like a situation to encourage use; anybody had more luck than me in finding out what is running?
 
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Romilly

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You can buy it online for £10 from the GWR website for e.g. this or next Sunday (click on Rovers at the top of their mixing desk), but they will send it to you by post.
 

davetheguard

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You can buy it online for £10 from the GWR website for e.g. this or next Sunday (click on Rovers at the top of their mixing desk), but they will send it to you by post.

You're right Romilly - thanks.

But without the information from Devon County Council about what buses are running and covered by the ticket, it's impossible to plan an itinerary or see where can be visited......

We'd like to support the idea of the integrated ticket, but unless Devon County Council get their act together soon, we might just buy a day return to Okehampton and enjoy the novelty of going there by train instead.
--- old post above --- --- new post below ---
Fortunately I'm now in a position to answer my own question!

Devon County Council tell me that both the Dartmoor Sunday Rover ticket and the network of Sunday buses across Dartmoor have been withdrawn this year due to budget cuts by central government.

However Great Western Railway still seem to be selling the ticket on their website; I see trouble ahead!

At least the Great Western operated, Devon subsidised, Sunday TRAIN service from Exeter to Okehampton will continue to run this year. A Day Return is only £5 and the usual railcard discounts apply. It's not often there's a chance to travel over this line....
 
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glenbogle

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Glad I seen this as coming down from Scotland to Devon and was planning on doing the circular tour a week on Sunday.
Looks like it'll just be a trip from Paignton to Meldon Quarry with lunch in the lovely station buffet.
 

superalbs

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Is the Devon Day Ranger ticket valid on the Okehampton line too? GWR Twitter says no, but EXD ticket office says yes.
 

Temple Meads

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Is the Devon Day Ranger ticket valid on the Okehampton line too? GWR Twitter says no, but EXD ticket office says yes.

Yes it is valid!

Might be worth pointing the Twitter team towards the map on their own 'Rovers and Rangers' publicity... (apologies if the map detail is a little unclear on the attached pic).
 

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embers25

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Yes it is valid!

Might be worth pointing the Twitter team towards the map on their own 'Rovers and Rangers' publicity... (apologies if the map detail is a little unclear on the attached pic).

Why would anyone want a Tarka Line Day Ranger given it's the same price as a Devon one and has the same validity.
 
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davetheguard

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Glad I seen this as coming down from Scotland to Devon and was planning on doing the circular tour a week on Sunday.
Looks like it'll just be a trip from Paignton to Meldon Quarry with lunch in the lovely station buffet.

We did the trip today on the 09.04 from Exeter Central to Okehampton.

Not too busy going out, mainly people going walking on Dartmoor (like us), but there were lots of passengers waiting at Okehampton for the 09.55 to Exeter. The train left full & standing with 108 on board. Devon County Council, who pay for the trains, specify a single class 153.

The excellent friendly station buffet was doing good trade too.

We returned to Exeter Central on the 15.23, by which time a second 153 had been attached.....
 

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glenbogle

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Thanks Davetheguard.
It's a pretty unique service and am puzzled with them passenger numbers why more trains don't run to be honest, the demand is obviously there.
 

Busaholic

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Thanks Davetheguard.
It's a pretty unique service and am puzzled with them passenger numbers why more trains don't run to be honest, the demand is obviously there.

The cynical (well,me!) might consider that it is because there are many in positions to decide these things who wish to show there is no underlying demand for train travel between Exeter and Okehampton, as to suggest there is might just produce the impetus to consider re-opening the line fully, with an extension over new/reopened track to Tavistock with the possibility of further extension to Plymouth. Thus a diversionary/secondary through route could be created but..... oh well, peasants getting above their station, as us local inhabitants are no doubt considered.:lol:
 

davetheguard

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Devon County Council are now saying that the Dartmoor Sunday Rover IS still available, so Great Western are correct in continuing to sell it.

Apparently, it is "valid on all Great Western Railway trains in Devon & to Gunnislake, as well as all Stagecoach services" Of course, all the Sunday bus routes across Dartmoor that were one of the main selling points of the ticket ARE withrdawn.
 

embers25

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Devon County Council are now saying that the Dartmoor Sunday Rover IS still available, so Great Western are correct in continuing to sell it.

Apparently, it is "valid on all Great Western Railway trains in Devon & to Gunnislake, as well as all Stagecoach services" Of course, all the Sunday bus routes across Dartmoor that were one of the main selling points of the ticket ARE withrdawn.

Still advertised on Devon website https://www.journeydevon.info/save-money/on-the-bus/day-tickets/
 

Parallel

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When it says all 'Stagecoach services', it that referring to SWT or buses, or both?

Shame about the cuts. I was fortunate enough to use the Dartmoor buses last summer from Okehampton to Gunnislake. Last year it was 1 x 153 that was full and standing on the way there (I can't remember the exact time but it was the second train of the day to Okehampton). 143s and 150s have worked the Sunday service in the past though. It's a shame there's not a more regular service between Okehampton and Exeter; I think there'd be a market for it.
 

davetheguard

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When it says all 'Stagecoach services', it that referring to SWT or buses, or both?

Shame about the cuts. I was fortunate enough to use the Dartmoor buses last summer from Okehampton to Gunnislake. Last year it was 1 x 153 that was full and standing on the way there (I can't remember the exact time but it was the second train of the day to Okehampton). 143s and 150s have worked the Sunday service in the past though. It's a shame there's not a more regular service between Okehampton and Exeter; I think there'd be a market for it.

Not well worded, but I'm pretty sure that Devon County Council mean Stagecoach buses (i.e. not valid on SWT).
 

Starmill

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Why would it be valid on SWT's services within Devon, as the Devon Day Ranger is?
 

Parallel

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Why would it be valid on SWT's services within Devon, as the Devon Day Ranger is?

The Devon Day Ranger isn't valid on buses, so passengers boarding from Devon stations east of Exeter Central intending to use the Sunday Rover (including bus travel) would have to buy another ticket. In theory, passengers wouldn't be able to use SWT services between Exeter St David's and Exeter Central either...
 

Starmill

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I was going by the logic that it doesn't say the Devon Day Ranger isn't valid on South West Trains, so I'm not sure where the idea that it also isn't valid with this ticket comes from.
 

221129

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I was going by the logic that it doesn't say the Devon Day Ranger isn't valid on South West Trains, so I'm not sure where the idea that it also isn't valid with this ticket comes from.

This isn't a Devon Day Ranger? The Sunday Rover is only valid on GWR services I believe.
 

glenbogle

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Was on the 2nd one up and back on Sunday passed, roughly 30 folk on both ways, I would have stayed up there but over 3 hours is a bit long to kill, pity about the bus, I used to love that run to Gunnislake via Tavistock.
There was a nice guy on board doing a survey and taking passenger numbers with the hope that they will run increased services during the week if the demand was there for locals to commute to work.
Mist on board said they would use it if trains were suitable.
 
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