With the rail link in Devon severed at Dawlish, inevitably there is talk of what is to be done. Rail is an important link for Cornwall, an under-used link which is more sustainable than air or road. Good rail links are therefore vital for Cornwall.
Doubtless the existing rail link can be repaired, though when and at what cost is unknown. We have to aware that with the probability of more stormy weather in the future – probably a result of human induced climate change – the coastal route may well become unviable.
So what is to be done? A long time ago, there was a route from Exeter to Okehampton and from there a route to Launceston and one to Plymouth. The Exeter to Okehampton line is still used albeit on an irregular basis.
An option then is to bring this line back into use – this would have a number of advantages:
- An alternative route to the threatened coastal route;
- Allow more people from North Cornwall to use rail instead of road;
- Allow for more tourists to get to Cornwall by rail rather than by air or road.
OK it will cost money – but a better investment than HS2 and all the other iconic projects!