Revised proposals unveiled to protect South Devon rail line from extreme weather

Proposals have been unveiled by Network Rail to protect a section of a South Devon rail line bordered by cliffs and the sea.

The 1.8km stretch of railway between Parsons Tunnel, near Holcombe, and Teignmouth needs better protection from cliff falls, land slips and damage caused by extreme weather.

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wider and safer realigned coastal footpath not extending current extent of Sprey Popint

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new path with full coastal views added landward side of railway between Holcombe and Sprey Point

The stretch is the only line which connects Cornwall and Devon with the rest of the country and the plans would see the railway realigned away from hazardous cliffs.

Network rail says the updated plans mean most of the beach is retained with improved leisure access and amenities.

But protesters say the proposals will still ruin part of the seafront

For the proposal to go ahead however, Network Rail need to make an application for a Transport and Works Act Order to the Secretary of State for Transport.

This is in order to secure the necessary permissions and rights to carry out the works. According to Network Rail the application is likely to be submitted later this year once feedback is received from the public.

The vulnerable section of railway was closed for six weeks following a landslide in 2014 Credit: Network Rail

Rail users across the South West will be able to contribute their opinions on the proposals until March 1 in a second round of public consulation to help shape the final designs.

Starting today (January 20th) in Dawlish Warren, 10 consultation events in and around the local area will enable people to find out more, ask questions and express their views. It is possible to respond to the consultation online, by email or in writing via a freepost feedback form.

If you would like to provide feedback on the proposals you can find them at www.networkrail.co.uk/SouthWestRRP

We have listened to feedback from the first round of consultation and our updated plans will ensure a resilient railway line for the whole south west while maintaining most of the beach and adding improved walking and leisure facilities.

Mike Gallop, route director for Network Rail’s Western route

Watch Claire Manning's full report here: