Mel Stride

    HATHERLEIGH residents will have an extra bus service into Okehampton on Sunday 14th August which will connect with the new Sunday Rover rail service into Exeter. During a meeting in Hatherleigh this afternoon, the town’s two borough councillors Cllr. Patrick Kimber and Cllr. James McInnes told Central Devon MP Mel Stride that the bus service would demonstrate how bringing a passenger rail service back to Okehampton would not only benefit residents in Okehampton but would provide a valuable service to thousands of residents in neighbouring towns and villages as well.

    Cllr. McInnes said:

    “Travelling into Exeter from Hatherleigh can be a nightmare at busy times of day and not everyone has access to a car. These factors increase the risk of rural isolation and prevent many local people from applying for jobs in the city. The case for a permanent rail service from Okehampton to Exeter is steadily building and hopefully the bus service will be well used and will help the cause further. More information is available in Hatherleigh Visitor Information Centre and the Community Centre.”

    Mr Stride added:

    “In the past decade the number of rail journeys undertaken in the UK has risen by 43%. Across the country, when residents are given the choice between driving and catching the train, more are choosing the train. Like Cllr. McInnes, I hope the trial bus service is a big success and provides further evidence that a new passenger rail service between Okehampton and Exeter would be financially viable.”

    For more information about OkeRail, the group campaigning for a regular passenger rail service between Okehampton and Exeter, please contact Chairman Mike Davies on 07771 933718 or email him at

    Photo: Cllr. Kimber and Cllr. McInnes briefing local MP Mel Stride on the extra bus service that will run into Okehampton on Sunday 14th August and connect with the new Sunday Rover rail service into Exeter.