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Your bus matters

Some Ilfracombe Streetlife members have expressed disatisfaction with some of the local bus services.

On Friday 23 November, we will have the chance to make our views known at  "Your bus matters" in the Square outside Barnstaple Museum. It will be held from 1000 to 1500.

I will be on my way out of Devon at that time (I will return) but will make a point of calling in to express some of my concerns.


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Tony Olsson
I did pay a visit to the “Your bus matters” bus on my way through Barnstaple on Friday 23 November, where I left several copies of a two page letter concerning North Devon and Ilfracombe bus services.

Whilst praising Stagecoach for the great improvements in the Ilfracombe--Barnstaple services, and for providing the Barnstaple to NDDH services that Filers have refused to do (by refusing to extend its 301 service to Barnstaple Bus Station) I criticised Filers on several aspects of its operation. One of course was the Barnstaple terminus issue.

Streetlifers who attended one of the coffee mornings at the Britannia Hotel will remember that the issue was raised concerning having to climb the hills up to a High Street stop since Filers extended the 301 to Combe Martin. As with the walk from the fish and chip shop stop in Boutport Street, the missing links with the bus stations are a problem for elderly and disabled people.

Devon County Council have replied (as they did in August) to say they have no control over what Filers does with its buses. I don’t accept that, and neither does the North Devon Public Transport Users group to whom I have copied the letters.

So it would appear that only people-power has a chance of making Filers respond to the needs of its passengers. I hope that my suggestion made after the coffee morning, ie to write to the company requesting a diversion via Ilfracombe Bus Station resulted in a flood of letters from concerned residents. If nobody bothered, we have only ourselves to blame. We need to discuss the way forward.
Shirley J
Well done, Tony.  I wasn't able to get to the Barnstaple meeting.  Hopefully something will be done.  One of our Councillors, Margaret Blundell, promised to speak to Roy Filer about the Lidls problem - no feedback from her yet.

Hope you enjoyed your Birmingham Train exhibition.
Tony Olsson

Yes, thank you Shirley, I very much enjoyed the model railway exhibition, especially the wonderful models of historic scenes of the Lynton & Barnstaple Railway, and the imaginative layouts of what could be with us now if the line had been kept open to the present day in the age of railway preservation. As a life-long devotee of the railway who was roaming the abandoned track bed in the 1960s and 1970s decades after the railway closed, It gave me enormous pleasure in 2010 to ride behind the replica Manning Wardle loco Lyd (which was exhibited at the Birmingham show) inside an original carriage from the railway. Enthusiasts in Essex are rebuilding the remains of other carriages rescued from fields in Devon, and hopefully real L&BR trains will be running from Woody Bay Station towards the end of next year.

If you go to you will see a video of a journey from Barnstaple Town Station to Lynton compiled from a few of the models at the show.

I couldn’t find the most stunning layouts on the L&BR website, so I recommend you look at where you will find the County Gate and Cliffhanger layouts. These are incredibly detailed models, and a huge draw for model railway enthusiasts when they are exhibited.

Next year, if I’m still living in Ilfracombe, I’ll try and organise a coach trip to the NEC. There must lots of enthusiasts going there from North Devon, but sadly, the local coach companies are not interested.

If anybody wants more information about the L&BR, other narrow gauge railways in Britain, and even in the Baltic States (Lithuania, Latvia and Lithuania) do please contact me on

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