COMMUTERS can expect improved train links to Torbay this winter.
First Great Western has announced its first major timetable redesign for a decade with better services for Devon and Cornwall.
For Torbay this means:
A new 7.30am departure from London Paddington to Paignton via Bristol, providing better connections from the North
The current 7.06am service will now run to Penzance instead of direct to Paignton.
But a new connecting service to Paignton at Newton Abbot will give the same journey time as now
The 11.06am from Paignton to London Paddington leaves slightly later, but gets to London Paddington 20 minutes faster than the current journey time
Faster return service between Paignton and London
The changes will see an improved service for the South West, providing an earlier morning direct service from London to Plymouth and Cornwall, getting to key destinations beyond Totnes 40 minutes earlier than today.
First Great Western Managing Director Mark Hopwood said:
“We have been able to make important changes that have gone a long way to support the communities we serve, increasing the number of services in the south west by 143% since 2007.
“This has been a difficult year for rail travel in the south west and it is great to deliver some good news to follow the speedy recovery from the sea wall collapse.”
The timetable changes were approved by the Department for Transport.
Transport Secretary Patrick Mcloughlin said: “It’s great news that passengers will be able to travel from London into Plymouth and Cornwall earlier and faster. These new services will help open the south west for business, giving a boost to the region’s economy.”
Ben Rhodes, Chief Executive Devon and Cornwall Business Council welcomed the changes.
He said: "The retention of direct London services to Torbay, and the addition of a direct service from Bath and Bristol, the earlier arrival in Plymouth and Penzance are all welcomed"
Subject to approval by Network Rail, the new timetable will operate from December this year.