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Author Topic: Day trip to Exeter tomorrow  (Read 3661 times)
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« on: June 25, 2007, 02:36:49 pm »

I'm making a day trip to Exeter tomorrow (due at Central station for 1 p.m., on a short timescale to leave a.s.a.p after 15:45 (really 16:15 would be far better), returning to West Wilts for an evening meeting.


From / to Melksham - NO CHANCE of anything realistic.  The 07:17 train would get me there at 10:16, the 15:46 back would get me to Melksham for 19:07, each with a dogleg via Chippenham.  Best fare - 34 pounds.

From / to Bradford-on-Avon.   The 09:37 (change at Westbury) will get me there at 11:48, and I can return on the same 15:46 and get into Bradford-on-Avon at 18:21.  Price?   A much more realistic 25 pounds.

What I find a big surprise is the routing.  I understood that there's an hourly service from Exeter Central to Salisbury ... well - there is , except that there seems to be a gap from 14:14 to 18:14 in trains to Salisbury according to the national rail timetable (curiously, the web site shows a 16:14).   I understood that there was a service from Exeter (St. David's) to Westbury every 2 or 3 hours - well - most of the day there is, but there's a gap from 15:10 to 19:52 in St David's departures which I make over four and a half hours.

In fact from / to Gillingham, with a drive over to there.  The 11:13 train, direct, gets me to Exeter at 12:27, and the 16:14 return (yes, I think it DOES exist!) gets me back up to Gillingam at 17:41.  Driving to and from Gillingham, I can leave Melksham just after 10 a.m., and be back for my evening meeting between Bradford-on-Avon and Trowbridge - tight for 18:30, but in time for the critical business just after 7 p.m.  Rail fare?  Just 18 pounds.

Final choice - drive all the way.  The AA gives me a timing of 1 hour and 52 minutes - so I can leave Melksham at 11 a.m, get to Exeter for 13:00.  Leave back at 16:15, and be in Trowbridge / Bradford for 18:15. Expense apart (and I own the car anyway!), doesn't that seem the practical solution?

Coffee Shop Admin, Vice Chair of Melksham Rail User Group, and on the board of TravelWatch SouthWest.
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« Reply #1 on: June 27, 2007, 07:36:42 am »

Choice made was Gillingham.   Disaster. The station car park was crammed full including a horsebox occupying 3 spaces, signs in all the nearby streets that it was PRIVATE parking and no legal parking anywhere nearby.  Cabbies on the rank told me that people tend to risk parking in the private streets and don't usually have a problem but I'm not inclined to be a rule breaker, and in the end we (I had my Dad, who is really past very long walks and running across towns with me!) we drove all the way.  Any reader of this who knows Exeter will probably guess what a mess it was to park THERE Undecided

Coffee Shop Admin, Vice Chair of Melksham Rail User Group, and on the board of TravelWatch SouthWest.
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