Bring back railway line

PUBLISHED: 13:34 21 August 2008 | UPDATED: 09:32 10 June 2010

I was very interested to read a Journal article on August 7 headed Store bid spotlights transport" and to read that the Exmouth branch railway line is the most heavily used in the West Country. In 2007 July to November I corresponded extensively wi

I was very interested to read a Journal article on August 7 headed "Store bid spotlights transport" and to read that the Exmouth branch railway line is the most heavily used in the West Country. In 2007 - July to November - I corresponded extensively with the Department for Transport and also wrote to East Devon District Council and Devon County Council to argue the case for the re-opening of the Sidmouth and Budleigh Salterton railway lines. I sent a three-inch thick binder to the Deptment for Transport, giving an audio visual presentation of the need for these lines to be re-opened and also went via the Prime Minister's office website and requested them to get the DfT to look into this. I highlighted the road traffic congestion in the Otter Valley and the strong need for local people to have their railway lines back. Extensive correspondence then took place between myself and two areas of the DfT and the upshot was that I was told it was down to the local authority in the area - Devon County Council - to address the traffic congestion problems which a lack of a rail system was causing. I also did the same presentation to the head of transport and planning at the Regional Development Authority in Exeter and recently submitted an article on it all to the Otter Valley Association, which I believe will be published in their next magazine. My own background is that I did camping coach holidays at the East Budleigh Station in 1960 and 1961. I should say that I did write to the Department of Transport about all this back in 1978, but just got a dusty answer. I also wrote to the local TUCC.My research showed that, when the lines closed in 1967, all the local authorities and an extensive range of businesses locally objected strongly and the Branch Line Memories DVD for the Sidmouth and Budleigh lines clearly shows the railways being extensively used right up to closure. You can see this visual evidence in the film of the diesel trains they brought in just before closure. In my view, there is a strong economic case for the reopening of the lines, especially from Exmouth to Budleigh Salterton, most of which is extant as a cycle way. The Sidmouth branch cries out for re-opening. Even though building work has gone on, the routes can be re-surveyed and a full feasibility study made by the local councils which have acknowledged in their local structure plans the need to withold further planning consents for more building on former railway land. I hope you will publish this comment. I hope that this time Devon County Council will look seriously at the matter and fund a feasibility study. There is plenty of room at Exmouth for a proper railway station to be built. Most of the railway goods yard got tarmaced over and used as a car park and is not used to capacity by any means. Brian George, 51 Armstrong Road,Hempshill Vale, Nottingham

Most Read

Most Read

Latest from the Exmouth Journal

Hot Jobs

Show Job Lists