New Exeter railway station opened by Transport Secretary Mark Harper

  • Watch Bob Cruwys' report

A new railway station has been opened by the Transport Secretary Mark Harper, to serve the Marsh Barton industrial estate in Exeter.

It is designed to try to take pressure off local roads, which are among the busiest in the area.

The Transport Secretary tore a specially-produced banner, in lieu of a ribbon-cutting Credit: ITV West Country

Mr Harper said: "We have a huge industrial estate, seven thousand jobs, potential for thousands more to come, so this investment in the rail network is about growing the economy in the South West of England and it's a really big investment from central Government as well."

The station will be served by trains which run between Exeter and Paignton and Exmouth and could be a more environmentally friendly option for people who normally drive to Marsh Barton.

Marsh Barton is one of three GWR stations to open this year Credit: ITV West Country

The station is said to be fully accessible and will be managed by Great Western Railway.

It is expected to open to passengers tomorrow (4 July).

GWR Managing Director, Mark Hopwood said: “New stations such as this are vital in bringing the railway closer to people as we become mindful of the need to live and travel more sustainably."

The Transport Secretary waved a flag to dispatch a ceremonial train Credit: ITV West Country

The long-awaited station has faced years of delays, having originally been scheduled for an opening date in 2016.

Councillor Andrea Davis, Devon County Council Cabinet Member for Climate Change, Environment and Transport, said: "It is extremely satisfying to see Marsh Barton railway station become a reality.

"Despite a number of setbacks and challenges over the years we have persevered and remained committed to this project to ensure more people in Devon have access to sustainable transport links, helping to tackle congestion on our roads, improve air quality and reduce carbon emissions."