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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 Exeter and Bristol.

Starting from 9th December, CrossCountry will be operating six additional services each weekday to improve connectivity by rail between two of the region’s main cities. As well as helping people travel for business and leisure between Exeter and Bristol, these will increase connectivity with the Midlands and North, helping strengthen the region’s economy. 

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 users a service departing from Bristol to Taunton and Exeter every 30 minutes between 15:45 and 18:45. And a new northbound service begins from Newton Abbot at 1520, helping to increase connections from Torbay with the start of the enhanced local rail service.

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 South West’s economy, by improving journey opportunities to increase connectivity with the rest of Britain.

“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 Peninsular Rail Task Force, to seek ways to further increase the number of direct train services along this route.”

Councillor Geoff Brown, Chairman of the Peninsular Rail Task Force, added: “We are pleased that CrossCountry will be introducing these additional train services. In 2016 we launched our report ‘Closing the Gap’ setting out our vision for a better and bigger railway in the South West, and called for a half hourly train service linking Devon to Bristol, the Midlands and North. We thank CrossCountry for taking this first step to delivering our goal of a better connected region.” 


Notes to Editors:

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.

For further information on CrossCountry services visit or follow them online via Twitter at @crosscountryuk or

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