The New "Surf and Cycle" Bus
Following an initiative by various North Devon local government bodies and other interested parties the Stagecoach bus company trialled a "Surf and Cycle" bus service during the summer of 2011.
Two normal double decker buses were specially refitted with the lower decks adapted for carrying surf boards and bicycles whilst their upper decks remained as they were for passengers - it seems there is a Health and Safety requirement which disallows passengers and sports equipment to ride on public transport in the same space.
This was the first service of its kind in the UK and after the 15 week trial period, during which the buses carried over 6000 passengers and just under 1000 boards and bikes, the pilot scheme was deemed a success. After a little route and timetable tweaking 2012 saw the introduction of a full-scale service beginning in April and running through until October.
The two buses, route B1, now provide four services a day, seven days a week, between Barnstaple and Woolacombe with an average journey time of about an hour and a half. These stop at other popular resorts including Croyde and Saunton Sands as well as stopping at several holiday parks and Braunton town centre. The first bus leaves Barnstaple just after 0800 going to Croyde whilst the last bus returns from Woolacombe about 1820 and the other services are spaced between these times.
Ilfracombe was included in the original trial service but it was decided that the town was already well catered for by public transport and didn't require the surf or cycle capability.
If you look up service # B1 on the website below under "Timetable" you'll find up-to-date information.
The 303 Bus From Barnstaple
This isn't one of Devon's more scenic bus routes but the spectacular view of Woolacombe Bay from the bus as it crests the hill coming out of Mortehoe more than makes up for the otherwise blandness of the journey.
The 303 runs between Barnstaple and Woolacombe at roughly 2-hourly intervals on weekdays and Saturdays (a little less frequently on Sundays) with a journey time of about 55 minutes.
I've no idea what the single fare is. I used my GBP 3.90 North Devon Day Ticket - but you'll find the info on the FirstGroup site. BTW The drivers are always helpful and if you want a return ticket and it turns out cheaper to buy the Day Ticket they'll tell you.
Although the 303 runs relatively infrequently there are other services between the two which require a change at Ilfracombe - details on websites below.
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