18 February 2013

Dream Exhibition?

Plans for hundreds of new homes linked to the reopening of a Devon railway line are to be the subject of a public exhibition next week.

The line from Bere Alston to Tavistock in West Devon was among those axed by Dr Beeching 50 years ago, although there remains a regular service from Bere Alston to Plymouth. Devon County Council wants to reinstate the route to help minimise the impact of traffic from planned development to the south and southwest of Tavistock.

The proposals include building 9km of new single-track railway to link Tavistock to Bere Alston and a new cycleway and footpath from Tavistock to the Bere peninsula. The new railway line would use the structures, cuttings and embankments left intact when the original line was decommissioned, although some strengthening work would need to be done to bring them in line with modern load standards and ensure they are suitable for the life of the railway.

The public exhibition is being held at the Bedford Hotel, Tavistock, from 1pm to 8pm, on Friday, February 22
Read more: This is Cornwall
The end of the line at Bere Alston lies just around the corner. Will we ever see this line continue through to Tavistock? I remain doubtful to say the least but I do hope I am proved wrong!

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  1. Graham - Your link to This is Cornwall doesn't seem to be working.

  2. "Devon County Council wants to reinstate the route to help minimise the impact of traffic from planned development to the south and southwest of Tavistock"

    That's not entirely correct. So far DCC are basically telling developers that if they want to submit plans for 800 new homes and a new Sainbury's supermarket and ring-road, their application will be favoured more highly if it includes an integrated transport plan - that is to mean funding towards the proposed re-opening of the Tavistock line and any other deal 'sweeteners' like extra bus or cycle routes.

    Nearly everyone is in favour of the idea to reopen the Tavistock branch. It should never have closed and should have been reinstated years ago. But locally there is a lot of concern about the rumoured size of the associated developments and the implications of building it all on an arsenic contaminated flood plain!

    I'm quite certain the line will run all the way through to Tavistock and possibly even beyond. Network Rail or DCC now own all rights to the trackbed as far as Tavistock and NR completed all the structural surveys last summer. In theory they could start laying the track tomorrow if they wanted to. But if there is a possibility for someone else to chip-in on the £22 million cost, then its worth them pursuing that first...


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