Full steam ahead with new Marsh Barton railway station
- Credit: Daniel Clark
Work on the new Marsh Barton rail station, which began last month, is progressing at pace, councillors have heard.
Preparatory works to the site, near to the Energy from Waste plant on the eastern edge of Marsh Barton, Exeter, are well under way, with vegetation having been cleared, existing utilities protected, and a site compound and access road have been created.
The new Marsh Barton station will serve communities living on the rail line in Exeter, Teignbridge, Torbay and East Devon, is a core element of the Devon Metro rail strategy for Exeter, and is central to supporting economic growth to the south west of Exeter and to the Marsh Barton employment area itself, as well as Dawlish and Newton Abbot.
It will also include the development of a new pedestrian and cycle bridge, which will connect the station and improve safer, active travel choices for work, education and leisure trips between Alphington, Marsh Barton and the Riverside Valley Park and Exe Estuary.
Cllr John Hart, Leader of Devon County Council, said: “The new long awaited station will improve access to one of the city’s most important employment areas. More than 7,000 people travel to work in Marsh Barton, and the train station and improved cycle and pedestrian access will be a key part in our delivery of sustainable transport options within the city.
“This project will therefore be good for our local businesses, and good for our economy while supporting our environmental commitment to reduce carbon to zero over the coming years.”
It comes as it has been confirmed that the Department of Transport, through the New Stations Fund, will be making a £3.1m contribution towards the £16m scheme.
Transport Secretary Grant Shapps said: “Modernising and upgrading our vital transport links is critical to levelling up every part of this country, unleashing our economy and spreading opportunity as we build back better.”
Devon County Council’s Cabinet member for transport, Cllr Andrea Davis, said: “I am absolutely delighted that the Government is supporting our scheme with this contribution of £3.1m to add to the £5.1m that the county council is investing.
“It’s really good news for Devon and for Exeter and means that the 7,000 people who work at Marsh Barton will be able to take the train to work if they want to, helping us reduce our carbon emission, and the new bridge will also be a great improvement for walkers and cyclists.”
With work traffic to site about to become busy, Clapperbrook Lane East will be closed to vehicles, for the safety of the public and the workforce, from June 1, 2021, to July 15, 2022.
The road will remain open for pedestrians and cyclists, but due to limited width, cyclists will need to dismount when using the road.
Vehicles wanting to get to The Double Locks pub or Riverside Valley Park can do so from Haven Road and Water Lane, with access along a recently widened tow path to Salmonpool Swingbridge, over the canal, but with widened tow path being used by vehicles, for their safety, pedestrians and cyclists will need to use the path on the other side of the canal, via the swing bridge, back towards the Quay.
When open, the proposed station will have two platforms, with the eastern and western platforms served by trains to Newton Abbot and Exeter, respectively. Each platform will be 124 metres in length, sufficient to accommodate trains formed of up to five cars, and will be 4m wide.
Each platform will have a waiting shelter, 10m wide by 1.5m deep, containing 12 stainless steel seats with arm rests, and a perch rail for four passengers, as well as one ticket vending machine on each platform, located inside the waiting shelters.
The new station will be served by the current half-hourly service on the Paignton to Exmouth line and will be adjacent to the Energy from Waste plant at Marsh Barton, close to Clapperbrook Lane East.
No date for when the first trains will be stopping at the station has been confirmed, but Devon County Council hope it will be before the end of 2022.
The station should have been up and running in December 2016, but delays, spiralling costs and protracted discussions with the rail industry led to the plan for the new station at Marsh Barton running at shunting speed.