Back on track! Plans for Marsh Barton railway station ‘to be submitted in 2020’

New plans for a railway station at Marsh Barton in Exeter will be submitted at the start of 2020.

The project had been delayed after changes to design standards saw costs spiral, and a bid to the Department for Transport was unsuccessful.

Now Devon County Council (DCC) has now re-thought the design of the access to the station.

It says new ramps will strengthen a failing embankment and deliver an improved access into the city’s cycle network, avoiding Clapperbrook Lane.

The authority also claims this will minimise risk of further delays during construction – as it could be delivered away from the live railway.

Network Rail and GWR are both helping with the revised scheme for a Marsh Barton railway station.

DCC says ‘a number of challenges’ remain, but it has secured extra funding and is focussed on securing planning permission and gaining rail technical approvals.

Councillor Andrea Davis, cabinet member for infrastructure, development and waste, said: “The delivery of Marsh Barton station is a long-standing aspiration for the and we have remained committed to the project despite unfortunate delays.

“We’ve taken the time to come up with alternative solutions for the station access and, working with the rail industry, we’re trying to identify potential suggestions to help make savings on the scheme.”

Councillor Yvonne Atkinson, who represents Alphington and Cowick, said: “A new station will mean commuters from Dawlish and Newton Abbot can get the train to work in Marsh Barton. This will help alleviate congestion and air pollution.

“The station will be linked to cycle and pedestrian paths from the new housing developments at south west Exeter to encourage people to leave their cars at home when travelling into the city centre.

“Hopefully, commercial bus companies can be persuaded to provide new services to the station.

“The new station is an important step towards creating an integrated transport system not based around the car and will help meet climate emergency pledges to ensure Exeter is carbon neutral by 2030.

“The long-term vision is to turn Alphington into a Garden City where people and nature can co-exist sustainably.”

John Newland, Network Rail’s senior sponsor for the Marsh Barton project, said: “We are passionate about improving the railway for passengers and this includes at Marsh Barton.”

Devon is one of the leading authorities in the country for opening new rail stations; with platforms opened in Cranbrook and Newcourt in Exeter in 2015.

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