Since the sea destroyed the line at Dawlish there has been quite a lot of news about alternatives. Re-opening the line from Exeter via Okehampton and Tavistock to Plymouth has been mooted. We suggested this would be a good idea not only as a means of an alternative route to Plymouth and then into Cornwall but also with the potential for re-opening up lines into Cornwall via Launceston.
This would fit in very well with a more sustainable transport policy. It would be easier to reduce both car use and air use particularly for the tourist industry.
The costs? Estimates are that replacing/upgrading the line from Exeter to Plymouth would cost something like £250 million, a lot but in the long term well worth it. This would not be an iconic project like HS2 but it would certainly be a wise move.
Planning for the longer term requires an immediate analysis of the potential for other rail lines in Cornwall. Doubtless some will argue against on the grounds of cost yet when proposals to build new roads or widen existing ones are brought forward cost is often not a problem!
For more: http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/uk-26068375
Nice to see that Dan Rogerson has picked up on our call to extend the rail service into Cornwall via the Okehampton line – don’t forget you read it here first!