10 February 2014


The constant stream of storms (and more on the way) has really highlighted the poor transport links for the region. While we have the ears of government (i.e. while its in the news!) the City Council have been pressing hard:

Plymouth City Council leader Councillor Tudor Evans who chaired the recent meeting, said;

"We are pleased that the Secretary of State for Transport saw at first hand the damage that has severed our rail link. We are grateful that he took the time to come to Plymouth to listen to the Council leaders, MPs and business leaders across the South West reiterate their call for urgent action. It was extremely constructive and heartening to hear the commitment to this immediate problem.

"The minister also acknowledged this was not a heritage rail restoration project. It is a modern engineering project and heard our calls to start future proofing the railway."

The meeting was given assurances from the minister that the funding for emergency work would be available - 'no question about it'.

  • They heard that Network Rail, depending on this weekend's storm, were confident the immediate repairs could be carried out within the next six weeks
  • Significant progress was underway to create alternative transport in and out of the west country
  • The minister was able to report that fare reductions to compensate passengers for their inconvenience and to minimise long term damage to passenger levels had already been secured
  • We need to get the message out that although the rail link is broken – the South West remains open for business
    Councillor Evans added: "He has told us we will get a better rail link than we had this time last week."

Normal for Dawlish…

The waves at Dawlish - Just before the real storm kicks in
©Adam Burt (cc) November 2012

With trains so disrupted there is more than enough rail replacement work available for local bus companies. Plymouth Citycoach have been busy on this work for some time now, but with recent events are increasing their fleet to cope:

With the line now closed at Bridgewater and Castle Carey rail replacement will now be between Plymouth and Bristol. We have five coaches and seven drivers coming from Go South Coast on long term loan and we have two coaches coming from Oxford on short term loan

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  1. It was heartening to hear the policitican's interview after the meeting with the Minister.

    In effect, he was saying that, once the repairs are completed, we don't want the same journey times to Plymouth and Cornwall, we want a Better level of rail service.

    Hear hear! It's all very wel having 125 mph capable trains on the line to Penzance, when they can only achieve that speed for the first half an hour out of Paddington to Reading. The rest of the journey is a dawdle, especially west of Newton Abbot (assuming you can get that far!).

    1. From what I know the HST can go from Paddington to Reading at 125mph then Reading to Starcross at 100mph! After that its goes 80,75,60,75,80 all the way to Newton Abbot!


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