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Published on : Friday, November 18, 2016
The government has confirmed this morning that an additional £10m in funding will be provided for Network Rail’s proposed resilience scheme to ensure long-term protection for the railway and the community between Exeter and Newton Abbot.
These funds will enable Network Rail to undertake further research into protecting the iconic stretch of railway beyond the current round of funding, which was due to end in 2017.
Exceptional weather at the beginning of 2014 caused part of the railway line at Dawlish to collapse into the sea and thousands of tonnes of material from the cliffs at Teignmouth to fall onto the line.
The overall impact of the disruption to the south west economy as the line was closed was estimated to be in excess of a billion pounds.The announcement of this funding comes as Network Rail begins the process of presenting the findings of a series of detailed investigations and technical studies to the public.
The study, undertaken as part of Network Rail’s Railway Upgrade Plan to deliver a bigger, better railway for passengers, has identified ways of protecting the railway and improving the future reliability of the line.
Network Rail’s managing director for the Western Route, Mark Langman, said:
“Keeping the south west connected to the rest of the country by rail is vital to the economy of the region.”We very much welcome the additional £10 million in funds announced today to help us build on the work we’ve already done to prevent this crucial line being blocked in the case of extreme weather.”
Transport Secretary Chris Grayling said:
“It is vital that we do all we can to prepare our transport system for extreme weather.“Never has the impact of nature been better demonstrated than at Dawlish and it is important that we make our railways strong enough to weather any storm. The further funding we have today announced will help to make sure that this vital link remains open.”
Network Rail is holding the first public engagement event for the proposed Exeter to Newton Abbot resilience scheme this evening at the Langstone Cliff hotel in Dawlish Warren; open to the public from 4.30pm. Further engagement events will take place along the south west in the coming weeks .