Coast News

Government announces funding for the first phase of major resilience works at Dawlish

PRTF welcomes of £80 million in funding to commence the first phase of major resilience works to the Dawlish sea wall.

15th February, 2019
Five years after storms destroyed the Dawlish rail line the Peninsula Rail Task Force (PRTF) welcomes today’s announcement by Chris Grayling, Secretary of State, of £80 million in funding to commence the first phase of major resilience works to the Dawlish sea wall.

The combined events at Dawlish, the closure of Cowley Bridge and the flooding of the Somerset Levels devastated the peninsula economy in 2014, costing the South West an estimated £1.2 billion.

Councillor Andrea Davis, PRTF Chair said: “We have always been clear that Dawlish is our top priority and this is the first step towards seeing a resilient railway in the South West.

“The Secretary of State has been continuously quoted as saying that Dawlish is the number one rail priority for the Government and this is evidence of its good intentions. Chris Grayling’s commitment is a positive step, which we welcome.

“It is essential that the rail line remains open to protect the South West’s economy. The line’s vulnerability during adverse weather cannot be allowed to dictate the level of service endured by passengers in the region.”

Network Rail has been working with world-leading experts to find solutions to ensure resilience of the line at Dawlish.

PRTF now looks forward to the physical delivery of the project proposed by Network Rail to increase the height of the sea wall to 7.5m, a project that will yield a long awaited solution to the vulnerability of the section at Dawlish.

The next priority for Network Rail and the Government is to deliver plans and funding for resilience works from Parsons Tunnel to Teignmouth, which the PRTF will continue to campaign for.

Councillor Davis added: “The announcement by Chris Grayling of funding on Friday 15 February is a good step forward. We look forward to working with Network Rail and DfT to guarantee the South West has a long-term solution and a plan of action to deliver a reliable and resilient rail network.”