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Arriva group train company CrossCountry, today announced it would be providing over 400,000 additional seats each year for rail users travelling between Bristol and Exeter.
Starting from 9th December, CrossCountry will be operating six additional services each weekday to improve connectivity by rail between two of the South West’s main cities. The new services will help people travel for business and leisure, further strengthening Bristol’s economy by increasing journey opportunities and offering more alternatives to driving along the increasingly busy M5 motorway.
The new services have been achieved by extending afternoon and evening trains that previously terminated at Bristol, to provide an extra three northbound and three southbound services. These have been chosen to also address increasing demand for travel at peak times, by offering rail passengers a CrossCountry service departing from Bristol to Taunton and Exeter every 30 minutes between 15:45 and 18:45.
Making the announcement, CrossCountry’s Managing Director, Andrew Cooper, said: “We have been working with the Department for Transport for some time to increase the number of our trains between Bristol and Exeter. We understand the value these services have in helping strengthen the region’s economy, by improving journey opportunities to increase connectivity with the rest of the South West, especially for commuters who may benefit the most from these extra seats.
“These new services again show Britain’s railway investing in improvements for customers and the regions it serves. We will continue to work with local stakeholders such as the West of England Mayor and Combined Authority, to seek ways to further increase the number of direct train services along this route.”
West of England Mayor, Tim Bowles, said: “This is great news for rail passengers in our region, whether they are travelling for work or pleasure. More, quality public transport is essential to tackling congestion – this includes trains, buses as well as cycling and walking routes.”
CrossCountry’s network is the most geographical-extensive passenger rail franchise in Britain. Stretching from Aberdeen to Penzance and from Stansted to Cardiff, it calls at over 100 stations. Based in Birmingham, CrossCountry connects seven of the Britain’s 10 largest cities and delivers 298 services every weekday, equating to some 38 million passenger journeys a year.
CrossCountry is part of the Arriva group, one of the leading providers of passenger transport in Europe. Arriva employs more than 60,000 people and delivers over 2 billion passenger journeys across 14 European countries each year