Hop on! Sidmouth Hopper Bus reveals new routes and extra days for 2019

The Hopper Bus will return for longer this year and with extra routes. Picture: Dartline

The Hopper Bus will return for longer this year and with extra routes. Picture: Dartline - Credit: Archant

Sidmouth’s Hopper Bus will be returning for an extra eight days this year, including during the town’s folk festival for the first time.

Sidmouth Town Council announced this week the service will run for 100 days from the end of May until the start of September.

It will offer a reduced service during Sidmouth Folk Festival to help ferry visitors around the town.

New routes have been unveiled for users to hop on and off, including buses to King’s Garden Centre eight times a day.

On the way there, the bus will head through the town centre stopping at All Saints Road, Temple Street and Woolbrook to the garden centre.

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The bus will then carry on the route into Sidford to The Donkey Sanctuary and caravan parks, before returning to town along Salcombe Hill Road.

Councillor Kelvin Dent, who co-ordinates the service, said: “Going to the garden centre and up through Sidford to the caravan sites and Donkey Sanctuary is a big change.

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“It is great for the caravan sites, visitors can get the bus and come out for a meal, maybe have a drink and do not have to drive back.

“The folk festival organisers were very happy and said it will help them.

“A lot of people might like to come out of town and can go down Woolbrook.

“Also we see a lot of visitors go up to the garden centre.”

The bus will continue to run its usual routes from the Triangle up to Mutter’s Moor car park and back.

Residents needing to get to the Beacon Medical Centre will be able to use the service as the bus will drop off near Waitrose on its route.

Operator Dartline will issue tickets allowing the council to know how many people are using the service.

Cllr Kelvin Dent said: “Ideally we would love a free service which it has been in the past but we cannot do that, but £1 for adults and 50 pence for dogs and children it is a happy compromise.”

He said this year around 30 businesses have helped to sponsor the bus.

The Donkey Sanctuary will work with the council to carry out a passenger survey to find out more about the people who use the service.

The Hopper Bus will begin on May 25 and run until September 1.

This summer’s Sidmouth Folk Festival (sidmouthfolkfestival.co.uk) takes place from August 2-9.

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