A NEW train service will give rail passengers an extra hour in London while the Dawlish sea wall is repaired.
First Great Western has announced that from Monday it will be adding a 21.35 weekday service from London Paddington to Plymouth and the South West.
The new service will run until the rail line at Dawlish is repaired and First Great Western is able to reinstate its sleeper service.
The extra train will call at Reading, Taunton, Tiverton Parkway at 11.33pm, and Exeter St Davids at 11.51pm, with a connecting executive coach service from Tiverton Parkway to Plymouth and Cornwall.
Coaches, which will be for customers from the 21.35 only, will leave from Tiverton Parkway at 11.40pm calling at Plymouth at 12.55am, and then on to stops in Bodmin Parkway, Bodmin town centre, Truro and finishing at Penzance at 3.25am.
There will also be a direct coach between Exeter St Davids and Newton Abbot, departing 11.59pm and arriving at 12.30am.
Alison Seabeck MP for Plymouth Moor View, said: “I am delighted First Great Western has listened to concerns raised by people in Plymouth.
“Putting on this additional train shows Plymouth is open for business and FGW deserves credit for acting to support the city.”
David Parlby, chief executive of Plymouth Chamber of Commerce, said the new service would be helpful.
“For example, I am in London next week and will have to drive because my meeting won’t be finished until after 8.30pm.”
FGW general manager west David Crome said: “I am delighted that we can offer this additional service, allowing customers to travel from London to the South West late into the evening while the sleeper service is unable to operate.
“The sleeper will be back once Network Rail completes the work at Dawlish and until then we will do everything we can to minimise disruption to our customers’ journeys.”