From next month Sunday train services between Exmouth and Exeter will double.

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Just days after its designation as a Community Railway the Avocet Line between Exeter and Exmouth is to get extra trains.

The services, announced by First Great Western, will be for a six-week trial period and will mean that trains are every half hour on Sundays, instead of the usual hourly Sunday service.

This has been made possible by Community Rail funding, with further support from Devon County Council.

Tony Day chairman of the Avocet Rail Users Group (ALRUG) said: “This will be a great help in the period running up to Christmas, when many people are travelling to visit relatives, taking a winter break, or coming home for the holidays. The extra trains running through to St David’s will make connections with the main line much easier – as well as benefiting Christmas shoppers travelling into Exeter.”

The additional trains will run each Sunday from November 18 to December 23, to give a half hourly service between 10am and 6 pm.

ALRUG has been campaigning for such a service and Mr Day added: “Over the past three years we have done a lot of work on this, including many Sunday passenger counts with the help of the Devon & Cornwall Rail Partnership. We have demonstrated clearly that Sunday trains are as busy – or busier – than those in the week, apart from the rush hour. A half-hourly service, year round from 2014, is an option in the franchise currently out to tender, so full marks to FGW for giving passengers the chance to show that such a service would be well used.”

Julian Crow, of First Great Western said: “A half-hourly Sunday service is the next step in development of the Exmouth line.”

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