South West campaigners slam lack of plan or cash for rail resilience

 

Campaigners have warned that the economy of the South West of England remains at risk after transport secretary Chris Grayling provided a long-awaited but ‘disappointing’ response to demands for a more resilient rail link.

In a statement, the Department for Transport (DfT) said that in the response to a November 2016 report by the Peninsula Rail Task Force (PRTF) Mr Grayling had ‘committed to delivering a modern railway in the South West that is resilient to extreme weather’.

”Local
The 2014 storms caused devastation to Dawlish

The DfT said that central to its plans to improve the resilience of the South West Peninsula are upgrades to stretches of railway that run close to the sea through Teignmouth and Dawlish, ‘safeguarding their future against damage as when storms washed away part of the line at Dawlish in 2014’.

However there was no commitment to new funding. Instead officials said that the Government ‘has already provided £15m for Network Rail to design a long-lasting solution to this problem, in addition to the £40m spent by Network Rail to repair the damage caused in the 2014 storm’.

Mr Grayling said: ‘The 2014 storms caused devastation to Dawlish and huge disruption followed. It has been a key priority since I became transport secretary.

‘That’s why we’re investing in the infrastructure of the region – making it easier for people to get around and better connecting the South West to the rest of the country. And that’s why sorting out the route through Dawlish is my number one national rail priority.’

PRTF chair Cllr Geoff Brown said: ‘Whilst we are pleased to see resilience at Dawlish as the Government’s number one priority, after submitting the 20 Year Plan “Closing the Gap” some 15 months ago we are disappointed with the level of detail contained within the response.

‘We had hoped that the Government would outline a detailed programme, bringing much needed resilience to the rail network in the South West, instead we have a response that lacks a detailed action plan and firm commitment to funding.’

He added: ‘The amount of investment we are requesting for the South West rail network is small when compared to elsewhere in the country, yet everyday that passes without investment, our rail line and the South West’s economy remains at risk.’

Earlier this year, Gary Streeter, MP for South West Devon and chairman of the All-Party Parliamentary South West Rail Group, said he had 'been assured that there’s going to be a lot of money spent over the next two to three years around Dawlish, around £200m'.

 

Also see

Register now for full access


Register just once to get unrestricted, real-time coverage of the issues and challenges facing UK transport and highways engineers.

Full website content includes the latest news, exclusive commentary from leading industry figures and detailed topical analysis of the highways, transportation, environment and place-shaping sectors. Use the link below to register your details for full, free access.

Already a registered? Login

 
comments powered by Disqus
 
 
highways jobs

Definitive Map Manager

Cambridgeshire County Council
£32,825 - £35,401
This role is based within the Highways Service at Cambridgeshire County Council and provides an unusual and... Cambridgeshire
Recuriter: Cambridgeshire County Council

Bridge Park Operations Manager

Brent Council
£38,799 - £41,706 p.a. inc.
This is an exciting opportunity to play a key role in managing the operations and contributing towards the... Brentford (City/Town), London (Greater)
Recuriter: Brent Council

Assistant Engineer

Cambridgeshire County Council
£21,074 - £30,756
A great opportunity for someone looking to start or develop a career in Highways Engineering including the... Cambridgeshire
Recuriter: Cambridgeshire County Council

Head of Strategic Transport

Cheshire East Council
£64,000 - £75,000 + benefits
We’re committed to “working for a brighter future together” – and we expect you to be too! Cheshire
Recuriter: Cheshire East Council

Regeneration Manager

Mole Valley District Council
£52,895 - £57,143 FTE
This is a great career opportunity to specialise in town centre regeneration and repositioning. Dorking, Surrey
Recuriter: Mole Valley District Council

Technical Services Officer (Mechanical)

Kirklees Metropolitan Council
£36,876 - £38,813
This is an exciting and challenging time for Kirklees and we want to expand our team to manage and deliver construction... Kirklees, West Yorkshire
Recuriter: Kirklees Metropolitan Council

Road and Footway Asset Engineer

Kent County Council
£28,925 per annum
An exciting opportunity has arisen to join the Road and Footway Asset Team as an Asset Engineer. Kent
Recuriter: Kent County Council

Head of Waste

Lincolnshire County Council
£65,651 - £70,725
As Head of Waste, you will be commercially focussed and forward-thinking. Lincolnshire
Recuriter: Lincolnshire County Council

Assistant Director

Reading Borough Council
Up to £92k
It’s the ideal time to take the lead on our modernisation agenda, and deliver growth in the trading of our front line services. Reading, Berkshire
Recuriter: Reading Borough Council

Assistant Director – Highways

Lincolnshire County Council
£82,264 - £107,878
Come and lead the future agenda for our highways services. Lincolnshire
Recuriter: Lincolnshire County Council

County Highways Manager

Lincolnshire County Council
£55,503 - £60,578
Seeking a highly motivated leader and an excellent communicator, who has a proven ability to build relationships and trust, leading by example. Lincolnshire
Recuriter: Lincolnshire County Council

Local Highways Manager (East) - Lincolnshire County Council

Lincolnshire County Council
G12 £43,662 - £50,430
Seeking someone who combines excellent technical knowledge with a dedication to the customer. Lincolnshire
Recuriter: Lincolnshire County Council