Upgrade the rail line to Exeter

Hard though I try, I cannot work out how the waterbuses suggested by Roy Penberthy (letters, October 29) could provide a service from Exmouth to the centre of Exeter in less than 25 minutes.

This is already achieved, with 32 daily departures between 6am to midnight, by our railway line, day in day out, regardless of tides, canal locks or weather as, unheralded, it carries nearly 1.5 million passengers a year.

Perhaps this is not such a ‘grim’ example of public transport after all, as the A376 gets a little nearer gridlock every day. Even this rail service could be improved by appropriate investment, which local authority, at present, seems more ready to provide for local buses than trains.

It was, perhaps, ironic to hear a local council leader speaking today on BBC local radio, admittedly in general terms, of a rail service every 15 minutes to the new town of Cranbrook. This community will ultimately comprise about 3,000 homes, of which none are yet built. However, beside the Exeter-Exmouth railway, planning permission has already been granted for two developments which will total 4,000 additional dwellings literally adjoining the tracks: the first houses are already built at Newcourt, but there is no sign of a station yet.

The Exeter-Cranbrook-Honiton-Axminster line has already received a recent upgrade with local authority assistance. Would not a similar investment in the Exmouth line be a better order of priorities before further attention to a line as yet serving green fields?

Richard Giles ,

Kilntop, Lympstone.

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