One of fbb's local routes is Axe Valley Mini Travel's route 899. The company started with taxis, then moved into local buses ...
... when good old Southern National pulled out. The first route was from Seaton to Beer.
Later the company moved in to the former Southern National depot on Harbour (formerly Station) Road, just a few yards along from fbb towers.
So here is the Traveline map of the traditional route 899 from Seaton to Axmouth but with the addition of extra journeys to Lyme Regis.
And yes, they are all numbered 899!
So here goes; hold on to your hats!
899 Seaton - Beer - Branscombe - Sidford - Sidmouth
This is the "main line" 899 route. Some journeys serve Sidmouth College.
899 Seaton - Beer - Branscombe - Fortescue - Sidmouth
One journey in each direction Monday to Friday using the yellow road. The Saturday timetable shows a journey via Fortescue TO Sidmouth but not back. fbb suspects this is a mistake. Traveline (ghastly NaPTAN again) insist that Fortescue is part of Sidford. It isn't.
These trips are timed at The Three Horsehoes pub ...
... which has been closed for many years. There is also a schooldays journey which (apparently) runs via the A3502 and Fortescue TO Sidmouth but with no working in the other direction. This may also be a mistake.
899 Seaton OR Colyford - A3502 - Newton Poppleford -
Budleigh Salterton - "Exmouth"
These journeys run on schooldays only and are for the pupils of Colyton Grammar School; which, as its name suggests is at Colyford.
The school was founded in 1546, by a group of twenty yeomen and merchants who bought some land from the crown "for the benefit of Colyton". On 20 June 1876, school population reached record low of just one pupil. Numbers steadily increased again and by August 1884, there were 33 pupils.
School was closed in 1900, due to a lack of pupils. It remained closed for 5 years until 1905, when it was re-opened with a new headmaster.
In 1913, a change in the school's constitution allows girls to be admitted for the first time and the school officially becomes a co-educational grammar school. In 1929, the school moved to its present site in Colyford.
Note that the timetable in Traveline claims to serve Exmouth. It doesn't.
Withycombe Raleigh Drakes Avenue isn't Withycombe Raleigh either.
It is the stop just past Tesco which is in the trees, middle left. At least Devon County's version is more helpful!
What Devon's version tells you but Traveline (and thus the journey planners) doesn't is that the afternoon trips run early on the last day of term; two hours 25 minutes earlier!
Tough luck if you are daft enough to decide to use Traveline to catch an 899 back from "Exmouth" on one of those days.
899 Seaton - A3502 - Sidford - Sidmouth
Again for Colyton Grammar and NOT to be confused with journeys on the top map which divert via Sidmouth College.
fbb reckons that by any good old fashioned route numbering scheme, that makes 5 different 899s. But do not panic, dear readers, none of these will change at the end of this month; the pattern has been constant for a number of years. fbb even wrote a blog about it, way back in 2011, long before there were any plans to move westwards.
See "Axe Man of Seaton" (read again). Worth a second look?
Three more 899s to come tomorrow.