Patients and visitors to the RD&E can avoid congestion and hand over the driving to someone else thanks to a new low-cost shuttle bus running from Sowton Park and Ride in Exeter.
The Sowton Shuttle is now running to the RD&E’s Wonford site Monday to Friday from the Park and Ride hub on Sidmouth Road, with an adult return costing just £2. Buses run every 30 minutes from 6.40am and run into the evening, and take only minutes to reach the hospital’s main entrance.
The shuttle, operated by Dartline, has been launched because the Trust’s existing Digby Park and Ride is changing on 1 June. Members of the public will still be able to pay to use the Digby bus if travelling by foot, but from 1 June only RD&E staff with valid parking permits will be able to park their cars at the Digby site. Members of the public travelling by car are advised to park at Sowton and use the new shuttle. RD&E staff members currently without Digby parking permits can also park at Sowton and take one of the regular Stagecoach buses to the Waitrose site next to Heavitree Hospital for a 33% discounted fare.
Chris Tidman, RD&E Chief Financial Officer, said: “Our new Sowton Shuttle is a fast, convenient, inexpensive and much greener way to travel to the RD&E than bringing your car to the Wonford site, which can get very busy at times with limited parking. I’m delighted we’ve once again teamed up with Dartline and Devon County Council to provide this excellent new service for patients and visitors.
“We need to restrict parking at the Digby site to permit-holding staff from 1 June due to growth in our workforce in the past three years and to help release extra parking spaces on our Wonford site, which are in high demand. “As everyone knows, the RD&E and Exeter are both busy and sometimes congested places, and the launch of this new service is part of wider work we’re doing in partnership with other local organisations to develop more sustainable