Page last updated at 09:33 GMT, Tuesday, 9 June 2009 10:33 UK

Commuters in call for more trains

Commuters in north Devon have demanded more early and late trains on the Exeter to Barnstaple line.

The Tarka Line has hourly services to Exeter, but the earliest leaves Barnstaple at 0709.

Getting to London means changing at Exeter, which means the earliest commuters can get to London is 1130.

First Great Western, which operates the line, says it does not make any money from it and will need financial support from Devon County Council for changes.

'Real pain'

Passenger numbers on the line have risen by 50% since 2001, to about 320,000 journeys a year.

But the Tarka Rail Association, which represents commuters, said commuters to London were not being given an adequate service.

Braunton-based businessman Tony Carter-Burns needs to travel to London for meetings.

But he is so frustrated by the line's services that he regularly drives to Tiverton to get an earlier connection to London.

He said: "I'd love to see an early train that would get me to London for 0900.

"That would be fantastic, but right now it's a real pain."

Julian Crow, regional manager for First Great Western, said there were no plans for increased services to London, although a new early morning service was being considered for Plymouth.

Any changes would be subject to funding from the county council.

He said: "We have to talk to the county to see how affordable it would be."

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