09 July 2023

Adventures by Bus - if you can find them

Nothing else new to report from the last few days – but we do have a few new timetables starting this weekend – Left until now as the timetables have now appeared on Traveline – who also seem to have fixed the future timetables issue so I have been able download a few more in advance – not that there is a lot coming up (so far)

Timetables changing this week

First South West Ltd

The new Dartmoor Explorer for the summer season. Now pretty much the old 82 from Plymouth to Exeter.

 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
PH0004983.623 Dartmoor Explorer Plymouth, Royal Parade Postbridge, National Park Visitor Centre 09-Jul-2023 Daily, every three hours

N Eastwood – Royal Buses

 Licence Route Start Point End Point Effective Notes
PH1086607.005 33 St Ives, Royal Square Higher Penderleath Caravan & Camping Park 09-Jul-2023 Timetable variation

Taw & Torridge Coaches

 Licence Route Start Point End Point Effective Notes
PH0004727.022 31 Ilfracombe, St James Place Gardens Woolacombe Sands 10-Jul-2023 Variation to timetable

Quick Question

Why do operators still feel the need to just name their services rather than give them route numbers? I can kind of understand the name Dartmoor Explorer as a brand – but it could quite easily have been service 82 and given the name as well as the number – a concept that works well with routes up and down the country.

Why is it such an issues? well if you are trying to search for the Dartmoor Explorer on Traveline what you do type in?

Dartmoor Explorer? No

DE? No

Dartmoor? No

DME? No – although in previous seasons that worked

Actually the way to get the timetables for this service is to type DART.  Took me a while to find it – and only then by searching by location – which you really shouldn't need to do!

The Atlantic Coaster – try ATL

Sun Seeker – try SUN

Exmoor Coaster? EXMO

How many intended passengers would just give up?

Its not just Traveline that has issues. Go the First’s own timetable search page

and search for Tin Coaster 

There is the Adventures By Bus site which offers as nice simple page – but the Dartmoor Explorer isnt listed – the news and service updates page though offers this

After reviewing Dartmoor Explorer, we have identified that the route is commercially viable in the summer months and needs to allow for extended visits to Dartmoor. Therefore, the daily service will pause from 2 April. It will return with a revised route and enhanced timetable between Sunday 9 July, and Saturday 9 September inclusive. Further details will be published nearer the time.

I assumed that nearer the time would mean before the start of the service – but looks like I was wrong.

Maybe, just maybe, if the service was better promoted, easier to find timetables for then maybe, just maybe it would be more commercially viable? I mean it is a stunning route so they should be shouting out about it.


and a bit of a treat...


  1. Dartmoor Explorer had an Optare on first 0925 1300 and 1525 journeys. They need to flood the route with leaflets otherwise nobody will know it's running and only 8 weeks to get it noticed, then it's gone.

  2. 47543 and 53256 had honor of first day of dart variation 3 with the taunton streetlite finishing at milehouse

    1. Great using small single decks branded for the Lizard in Cornwall and as Taunton Town Bus in Somerset on a scenic route marketed as double deck! Pictures online reveal the 1000 from Exeter was nearly half hour late delaying the crew swap Plymouth working held at Moretonhampstead. Also various ones ran with Driver Training or Not in Service on the destination display.

  3. The 'Visit Dartmoor' website has a page for the 2023 Dartmoor Explorer with a link to the new PDF leaflet & timetable at...

    A stand alone PDF timetable is available from the Devon County Council bus times website at...

    1. No it was removed by First & has only just returned AFTER the service restarted!

  4. Peter Murnaghan11 July 2023 at 08:36

    And thanks for the 'treat', Graham.

  5. Agree about these names. They can be confusing. Atlantic Coaster is described on Bus Times as 'ATLA', but last year no one at Summercourt had apparently worked out how to display this on the buses, which just showed 'Padstow' or 'Newquay'. Even the former use of A1 is a little odd (why does First Kernow want to start some [but not all] route numbers with letters?) In the case of Newquay-Padstow, Go Cornwall has annexed 56 for its own service on essentially the same route. Too late, Kernow!

  6. Dartmoor Explorer route was cancelled by First before it even started. Ends as soon as possible given registration periods on 26 August. Saturday all journeys failed to run except 1000 from Exeter & 1525 from Plymouth. Does this suggest a half hearted attitude from First. That and only singledeckers.

  7. Just back from few days in Weymouth where also First issues. Some local buses not run as short drivers. Friday was wet day so all open-tops called back to dry depot. I watched and talked to drivers who said its because they too old for the rain and it has only odd spare closed top so all X52 to Bridport was cancelled after mid morning with also no Portland Bill bus then until late afternoon and three X50 to Wool in a row failed to run (Go-Ahead competes with route 30). Saw one annoyed looking driver looking for his open top to be told by wet First customer service agent on seafront that it was not out of the depot (where had walked from) as it was too wet.


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