In the second of two articles* about Stagecoach South West’s Gold-branded premium routes, CHRISTOPHER CARTER puts all four to the test on the same day and awards himself a bracing bonus ride on an open-topper — but finds that some Golds are not gold

A Torquay-Plymouth Gold route Alexander Dennis Enviro400-bodied Scania N230UD crossing the historic stone Totnes Bridge over the River Dart at high tide.

Part one last month

On a delightful October weekday, I aim to travel the entire Stagecoach South West Gold standard network – comprising four south Devon routes – without using any other buses. A bargain £8 Explorer day ticket covers my 150mile-plus itinerary, valid throughout its network from Bude to Lyme Regis and Plymouth to Taunton including all Gold routes as the sub-brand’s ‘luxury at no extra cost’ marketing implies. Without one I would pay around £30 in separate fares.

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