Residents 'set free' by new Rydons bus route
AFTER waiting three years for a bus, residents have welcomed the city's newest service and the removal of huge speed bumps at The Rydons.
Industrial grade traffic calming measures in the Newcourt estate were too severe for buses to go over.
The bumps, installed when the homes were built, have now been replaced with speed cushions, and the residents now have their long-awaited bus service.
From this week Stagecoach is running the J service twice an hour through The Rydons, from Pinhoe via the city centre, terminating at Digby Retail park.
Residents turned out with balloons, streamers, placards and happy smiles to welcome the first arrival.
Resident Anita Clover said: "I could have done with this six months ago because my husband had to spend some time in hospital and I don't drive. It was a bit like a prison living out here if you don't drive."
Fellow resident Marian Smith, who was 80 on New Year's Day, welcomed the new service. She said: "I drive, but I would be happy to give it up and get the bus."
Clive Martin, treasurer of the recently-formed Newcourt Residents' Association, said: "There was to have been a shop and a school on the development, but these have never materialised so for people to walk their children to school at Countess Wear is a 15 to 20 minute walk each way."
The residents formed a committee to work to get a bus service to the Rydons and have reason to be grateful to housebuilders Persimmon.
Topsham councillor Rob Newby said: "The bumps were to protect the workers when the homes were being built, but they were too severe for the buses so Persimmon changed them to speed cushions.
"I am delighted that we now have a bus service here."
Devon County Council is using financial contributions from the new developments at The Rydons to fund the extension.
The new J service will serve The Rydons in Newcourt as well as the Digby retail park and Tesco, where the service will terminate.
Andrew Leadbetter, Devon's cabinet member for Exeter and county councillor for St Loyes and Topsham, said: "Residents are excited to finally get a much-needed bus service, and Devon County Council has worked hard with help from Persimmon to achieve this.
"This represents a further improvement to public transport connectivity in Exeter.
"We can expect that to be further improved when the new rail station opens at Newcourt, which is expected to happen in 2015."
Michelle Hargreaves, managing director of Stagecoach South West, added: "We hope this enhancement to our existing service will prove popular with residents and The Rydons, and we look forward to welcoming them aboard."
Cllr Stuart Hughes, Devon County Council cabinet member for highways and transportation, said: "We are committed to improving access to public transport wherever possible and this extended route will serve an area which has recently undergone major growth.
"I am sure this will be a popular and well-used service which will give people an alternative to the car and will help tackle congestion."
Visit www.stagecoach bus.com for new timetable details.