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Film premiere held at Barnstaple Station to launch North Devon tourism videos

Celebrating the launch in front of the 310 bus outside Barnstaple station.
Back row L-R: Richard Burningham (Devon & Cornwall Rail Partnership), Jo Hake (GWR), Luke Farley (GWR).
Front row: Cllr Andrea Davis, Betsy Saunders (Devon & Cornwall Rail Partnership), John Burch (Tarka Rail Association), Tim Steer (Tarka Rail Association), Andrew Jackson (Filers).

Hollywood came to Barnstaple last week at the film premiere of four new promotional videos showing how easy it is to explore North Devon by train and bus.

The films highlight the easy onward bus connections at Barnstaple Railway Station to destinations including Ilfracombe, Instow, Bideford and Lynton.

Barnstaple Station hosted the film premiere, with the Stationmaster’s Café being transformed into a ‘pop-up cinema’ to accommodate guests from Devon County Council, Great Western Railway, the Devon & Cornwall Rail Partnership, Filers bus company and the Tarka Rail Association. Attendees walked the red carpet, grabbed their limited-edition film ticket ready for the showing, and even enjoyed some popcorn, the classic movie-going snack.

The four videos – produced by the Devon & Cornwall Rail Partnership – will be promoted using targeted social media advertising to encourage new and younger audiences to visit the region by public transport. The films (which can be watched on the Tarka Line website, as well as YouTube) were directed by the Partnership’s new Social Media and Content Officer Betsy Saunders, whose role was made possible thanks to the Great Western Railway Community Rail Major Projects Fund.

The Lynton episode includes the new direct connection at Barnstaple Station from the Tarka Line on to the 309/310 bus right outside the station. The video was funded thanks to a Locality Grant from Councillor Andrea Davis, Devon County Council’s Cabinet Member for Climate Change, Environment and Transport.

Cllr Davis said: “The videos show how easy it is to get to North Devon and experience our stunning landscapes, beaches, attractions and enjoy our hospitality. With the new rail-bus link to Lynton and Lynmouth many more people can enjoy Exmoor National Park, attractions such as the Cliff Railway and maybe have a cream tea. 

“I am very pleased to have been able to fund this from my locality grant, helping local businesses, residents, and visitors make the most of the public transport in Devon.” 

Now Showing! L-R: Tim Steer (Tarka Rail Association), Cllr Andrea Davis, Betsy Saunders and Richard Burningham (Devon & Cornwall Rail Partnership).

Luke Farley, Transport Integration Manager at Great Western Railway, said: “GWR is committed to promoting and encouraging the use of sustainable alternatives to the car. It is a privilege for us to be able to showcase some of the incredible destinations in the South West, which can be easily reached by train and bus, and are so beautifully captured on video by the Devon & Cornwall Rail Partnership.”

Richard Burningham, Manager of the Devon & Cornwall Rail Partnership said: “Devon County Council and GWR are leading the way in providing joined-up travel options for locals and visitors alike. These videos show how simple it is to reach some fantastic destinations by train and bus, and we hope they will encourage even more people to visit the area. It was great to launch the films in style thanks to the hard work of the Stationmaster’s Café in making the premiere a real event.”