A year after the rail line was severed at Dawlish, another weekend of disruption has happened across the South West rail network due to signalling problems. However, the situation may be about to change as the Peninsula Rail Task Force has had its inaugural meeting with Department of Transport and Network Rail officials before meeting with the Secretary of State, Patrick McLoughlin.
The Task Force met to discuss its proposals to make the rail network more resilient and reliable, ensuring that the Dawlish line remains the main line and is amply protected, along with measures to achieve faster journey times and sufficient capacity… Cont.
Businesses and communities across the South West Peninsula, from Cornwall to Somerset, have been hard hit by major failures in our transport networks.
Extreme weather has repeatedly disrupted our limited connections to the rest of the UK, disrupting road and rail services. The Met Office, based in the heart of the Peninsula, warns these events will happen with increasing frequency.
The South West Peninsula is increasingly in the UK’s extreme weather front-line. This has exposed the fragility of our road and rail connections and highlighted the legacy of continued underinvestment in our transport system.
With an economy greater than Leeds, Sheffield or South Wales, infrastructure investment is vital for the South West. Our businesses depend on reliable and resilient connections to function, grow and access new markets.
That’s why businesses and local authorities have united to campaign for greater investment in our roads, rail and broadband. The campaign has brought together Cornwall Council, Devon County Council, Somerset County Council, Plymouth City Council, Torbay Council, Heart of the South West LEP and Cornwall & Isles of Scilly LEP. Together, we are asking Government for investment to:
- Improve and dual the A303/A30/A358
- Improve the resilience, speed and capacity of our railway backed by flood improvement schemes
- Enable 100% roll out of superfast broadband by 2020 across the Peninsula
Further details can be found via the links above.