Exmoor’s 300 Coastal Link, dubbed ‘Britain’s most scenic bus service’ – is set for a bright future following a decision by the Exmoor National Park Authority.
The National Park Authority’s Partnership Fund will provide funding to allow the service, which links Minehead and Lynmouth along the spectacular Exmoor coast, to build a new business model and develop the service following the loss of subsidy to the service from the Transport Authority.
The route is served by an open top bus in the summer season and is popular with walkers, sightseers and local residents offering a unique view of the spectacular coastline and wild moorlands of Exmoor. The operator, Quantock Motor Services Ltd, will be developing a journey guide to provide passengers with detailed information on what to see and do along the route. They will also be looking to introduce a new single-decker vehicle with an open top area providing more resilience in the shoulder months and the opportunity to overlay additional services in the peak season, including a through link to Ilfracombe from Minehead. It is hoped that these developments, along with changes to the ticketing options will enable the route to become self sustaining financially following the National Park Authority’s one-off contribution of £30,000.
“This is a great service that allows people to experience the National Park in a unique way, as well as offering car free opportunities to local residents and visitors alike,” said Frances Nicholson, Member of Exmoor National Park Authority and Chairman of the Partnership Fund. “Local communities and businesses really benefit from the route and there will be opportunities for them to support the service in the future through advertising in the journey guide. We’ve been very impressed with the operator’s commitment to provide an ongoing year round service that can stand on its own feet. Our contribution will support the bus through the change from unaffordable subsidy to an independent and sustainable service for the coming years.”
Stephen Morris, Managing Director of Quantock Motor Services Ltd said: “I am very pleased to receive this funding as it reassures us that there is continued interest and support for this service which hopefully now has a brighter future.”
Developments to the route will be introduced over the summer and it is intended to operate a year round service with up to 5 journeys a day operating 7 days a week during the peak season.
For details on this service and other car free opportunities within the National Park please visit www.exploremoor.co.uk for inspiration, information and ideas including an interactive transport map, car free walks and a range if itineraries in addition to timetable links.
For more information on Quantock Motor Services Ltd visit www.quantockmotorservices.co.uk or call 01823 430202. Information on the Exmoor National Park Authority’s Partnership Fund can be found online at www.exmoor-nationalpark.gov.uk or calling Dan James, Sustainable Economy Officer, on 01398 322234.