16 May 2023

Dartmoor Explorer Returns

The latest notices published on the Registered Local Bus Services site.

As always click through for more details including timetables and maps. (although dont bother just yet as there is nothing much to see that's not detailed below!)

New Notices

First South West Ltd

The summer season registration for the Dartmoor Explorer. The other half of this service has yet to appear in my download so this wont be the full service!

 Licence Route Start Point End Point Effective Notes
PH0004983.622 Dartmoor Explorer Exeter Bus Station Postbridge, opposite National Park Visitor Centre 09-Jul-2023 Daily

Every three hours

Stagecoach Devon Ltd

  • The replacements services for the services given up by Go Devon.
  • Gunnislake circular Sundays
 Licence Route Start Point End Point Effective Notes
PH1020951.034 5 5A 5B 5C Exeter Bus Station Crediton / Chulmleigh 04-Jun-2023 Route and timetable variation
PH1020951.395 5A Crediton Okehampton 04-Jun-2023 Monday to Saturday
PH1020951.397 5B Great Torrington Church Barnstaple Bus Station 04-Jun-2023 Monday to Saturday
PH1020951.399 5B Crediton Great Torrington 04-Jun-2023 Monday to Saturday
PH1020951.257 21C Croyde Bay Bideford 16-Jun-2023 Operates from 16 -18 June 2023 for the Ocean Festival
PH1020951.380 52 Plympton Derriford Hospital 12-May-2023 Route and timetable variation
PH1020951.400 198 Gunnislake Rail Station Gunnislake Rail Station 28-May-2023 Gunnislake Circular - Sundays only
PH1020951.393 NASS (NASS Festival) Bath and West Showground Castle Cary Rail Station 06-Jul-2023 Shuttle bus service between Bath and West Showground and Castle Cary Rail station

Welcome back for the Dartmoor Explorer, for the Summer holidays.

Dartmoor Explorer


  1. Can someone fill in the missing bits and hazard a guess what has actually happened here for those struggling to follow the plot… stagecoach said they didn’t want to do the 5 bits beyond Crediton any more so threw them in. PCB/Go presumably calculated how much they wanted to run them, bid, won and then they decided after only 6 months or so that they don’t want to do it either, so then, somehow it’s back to Stagecoach who, I thought, didn’t want it any more.?!?!?!

    If someone has bid to run it for the council then aren’t they committed to do that without spitting their dummies only part way through the contract?

    Doesn’t it demonstrate some level of incompetence/serious miscalculation in the bidding process for PCB/Go to start but then Jack it in so quickly?

    Are we saying that DCC went back to Stagecoach and they said “well, we will take it back, but you’ll have to pay us more than before?”

    1. Operators can give notice on contracts but agree seven months was rather quick! Undoubtedly Stagecoach has bid far higher as it knows Go-ahead couldn't make the contracts pay (Stagecoach had creamed off the peak flows and kept a frequent Exeter-Crediton 5) and the council was unlikely to find another operator with bases in both Exeter & Barnstaple willing to take a larger contract on. Hence services are significantly reduced to make them affordable to the county plus loadings were generally very poor off-peak anyway.

    2. I'm more inclined to think that Go South West was offered a short-term contract to operate the routes after Stagecoach pulled out due to its driver shortage at the time. Go South West has chosen not to continue with the routes and Stagecoach now has sufficient staff to provide an alternative service.

    3. PCB put in the lowest bid and ended up operating at a huge loss. They effectively were running the 377(5C) for free so couldn’t sustain it. The operation was very unreliable anyway with daily breakdowns, trips not running or running extremely late and in some cases extremely early…

  2. Probably the same will happen in Cambridgeshire as Go Whippet aren't doing well with the routes they took over from Stagecoach last October

    1. With a bit of luck Stagecoach can get the other Plymouth city contracts off Go Ahead next time around

  3. The other reg for dart puts it back to plymouth not gunnislake

    1. I saw the Plymouth Royal Parade starting point too. Hope all the services come through to Plymouth to make it more use to us in Plymouth. I am sure Plymouth should make more money and fit in with college runs etc better than guineslake

    2. It starts day after duchy/bicton break up and finishes the day before they go back so shouldn't interfere with college operations


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