Coast Path rail initiative launched at Barnstaple station

A new initiative encouraging people to take the train to Barnstaple and walk the South West Coast Path has been launched at Barnstaple railway station.

The project is the result of a collaboration between the South West Coast Path team, Devon County Council, Tarka Trail Cycle Hire, the Station Master’s Café (both based at the station) and the Devon and Cornwall Rail Partnership.

Two map boards have been erected - one outside the Station Master’s Café and one on a key junction close by where several paths meet. A further one is planned for the front of the station.

The boards show the variety of walks which can be accessed from the station on the South West Coast Path and the surrounding area. Many walks also take in the Tarka Trail, such as the walk to Yelland.

In addition, signposting has been improved to help visitors access the Coast Path from the station.

Funding for the project has come from the Rural Development Programme for England and the Designated Community Rail Development Fund, backed by the Department for Transport, Network Rail, and the Association of Community Rail Partnerships together with funding from the Station Master’s Café and Tarka Trail Cycle Hire.

Matt Edworthy from Devon County Council said “Barnstaple is a key location. It is on an increasingly used branch line and at a crucial point where people can join the South West Coast Path and Tarka Trail just metres from the station. Where better to provide these new information boards that highlight just what a wonderful environment there is waiting to be explored from these wonderful routes."

Mike Day from the Station Master’s Café said “The South West Coast Path is a vital national asset and we are very happy to support it.  Barnstaple railway station forms a key gateway into North Devon and the train offers an environmentally sustainable way of accessing the South West Coast Path from around the UK.  Once here, people can explore the path by foot or certain sections by cycle from the cycle hire here at the station.”

The South West Coast Path Team and the Devon & Cornwall Rail Partnership are working to improve links between stations and the Coast Path throughout the two counties.  Barnstaple is the first Devon station involved. In Cornwall, similar map boards have been installed at Looe and Penzance stations.



Published on: May 25, 2012