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Stagecoach South West celebrate the launch of newly designed route 4 bus service, connecting Exeter with Cranbrook, Exeter Airport and St David’s Railway Station.

Caption:  Stagecoach South West Marketing Manager Sarah Clark (Left) with Exeter Airport Managing Director Stephen Wiltshire (Right) shown next to the new 4A service at Exeter Airport.

  • Newly designed route sees up to 6 buses an hour serve key city locations
  • Comprehensive timetable offered, with departures from 0445am until 1am, designed to promote growth and modal shift
  • Plans deliver a greater number of connections now possible, and frequency of departures increased in some locations.

Local bus operator Stagecoach South West have launched a brand new cross city connection in the form of Routes 4 and 4A. Buses connect Honiton Road Park and Ride with St David’s Station via Exeter City Centre up to every 10 minutes throughout the day, and onto Cranbrook up to every 20 minutes. Brand new service, 4A also now serves Exeter Airport every 20 minutes throughout the week.

Route 4 has been a popular service in the operator’s Exeter network for a number of years, providing a direct link to residents of Cranbrook on the outskirts of the city. The town of Cranbrook has continued to grow since its first development in 2012, with over 6000 properties projected to be occupied by 2027. The new service now offers residents improved journey opportunities with new links to the Railway Station and Exeter Airport. Residents are offered 3 buses an hour, starting at 0443 Monday to Saturday right through until 0105am, that’s up to 46 buses a day! With plenty of daily trips, the service is designed to suit the majority of customers’ travel patterns. With a journey time of just 28 minutes, the service offers a quick and convenient option for residents commuting into Exeter City Centre.

The route has been redesigned as part of wider plans to simplify and enhance the Exeter City network, introducing a package of improvements with some frequencies increased, and a greater number of connections now possible.

Residents or visitors to the city will benefit from a significant increase in the frequency of buses across the common section of the route, and from new key direct links. Buses travel through the heart of Heavitree, offering connections to the thousands of residents of this ward, with a stop also located conveniently just a short walk from the Royal Devon and Exeter Hospital. Plus there are ample journey opportunities for employees of the many business’ near Exeter Airport at the Skypark. Students across Exeter can also now access both the Exeter college campus situated nearby the airport, as well as the main sites within the city centre.  6 buses an hour are now offered to customers boarding at Exeter St David’s Railway Station, Exeter City Centre, Honiton Road for the Park and Ride, and Clyst Honiton for Lidl and Amazon.  That’s up to 90 buses daily, giving travellers the confidence of plenty of journey opportunities for their daily commute or day trips into the city centre.

With unlimited travel starting from just £3 a day with the Stagecoach Flexi10 ticket, it is hoped that the service will be a popular option for the several hundred staff at the Lidl and Amazon distribution centres and commuters utilising the 650 spaces at the Honiton Road Park and Ride site. Flexi 5 and Flexi 10 mobile tickets were launched by Stagecoach last year and are available via the Stagecoach app. The tickets are just like the popular DayRider tickets, allowing unlimited travel across the whole day within a given zone. By buying a bundle of these tickets up front, customers can enjoy even better value with the flexibility of using the ticket whenever they like. Customers can choose to buy Flexi in bundles of 5 (for the price of 4) or 10 (for the price of 7) and they’re valid for use within the following 12 months. 

For customers wishing to travel further afield, stops at Exeter St David’s railway Station and Exeter Airport open up a wealth of opportunities for onwards travel. With over 200 departures leaving St David’s Station daily, and Exeter Airport serving 26 destinations in nine countries, residents of Exeter can connect to anywhere in the UK and oversees.

Stephen Wilshire, Managing Director of Exeter Airport, said: “This new bus service from Stagecoach is great news for passengers and means Exeter Airport is connected to the city centre and St David’s train station up to three times an hour, six days a week, and hourly on Sundays. It gives passengers even more choice over how they travel to their local airport and we’re delighted to be working with Stagecoach on promoting the new service.”

GWR Transport Integration Manager, Luke Farley said: “We are committed to supporting the expansion and development of good bus connections with the rail network. The new service 4/4A provides a fantastic, frequent link between Exeter St Davids railway station and key areas of the city. We’re absolutely delighted to be working closely with Stagecoach on ensuring customers know about the journey benefits offered by train and bus working together”.

Stagecoach South West have operated local bus services across the region for over 25 years. Head of Commercial for Stagecoach South West Simon Ford said: “We identified an opportunity to deliver an enhanced service in our local network to offer improved connections to a range of customers travelling across the city. By offering a frequent link for Rail, Air and Park and Ride customers, for residents of Cranbrook, and for business at the Science Park and Amazon and Lidl sites, we hope to make bus use an attractive, affordable, and viable option for all. One of our core business principals is to help people lead more sustainable lives and we continue to invest in new technology to make travel simpler and easier for our customers. By offering carefully designed products we hope to encourage modal shift from private cars to more sustainable public transport.”