NEWS


  • MP PRESSES GWR ON PROGRESS WITH OKEHAMPTON TO EXETER RAIL SERVICE

    Mel Stride

    CENTRAL Devon MP Mel Stride met with Great Western Railway (GWR) today in Crediton to discuss the introduction of a regular passenger service between Okehampton to Exeter via the Mid Devon town. The campaign to deliver the service has made good progress in the last couple of years but it is taking time for GWR to complete a feasibility study that was due to be finalised in autumn 2018. Mr Stride pressed for faster progress and received an assurance that the report would be ready within 12 weeks.

    The meeting comes on top of a sustained campaign by the Central Devon MP who organised a meeting with then Transport Minister Jo Johnson in October to keep the Department for Transport’s attention focused on the project and in February after which the Department for Transport specifically referenced services operating out of Okehampton in a strategy document outlining its future aspirations. Mr Stride said:

    Speaking after the meeting Mr Stride said, “It was good to sit down with GWR and hear that they have not encountered any specific problems, it is just simply a case of a project of this magnitude taking longer than expected. I have offered my ongoing support should any obstacles arise.”

    After their meeting Mel updated OkeRail Forum Chairman Mike Davies, who added:

    “I appreciate Mel helping us chasing GWR for an update as things had gone a little quiet. There had previously been an outside chance of getting the service started this year but realistically we are looking more like 2020 at the earliest due to the time that will be needed for operators to bid to run the service and for timetabling to be organised. While we all want to see the many years of work on this come to fruition it is more important to get it right than to rush it and then encounter problems that actually cause greater delays.”

    Photo: Mel Stride meeting with Great Western Railway's Regional Development Manager Matt Barnes to discuss progress with the feasibility report for a regular Okehampton to Exeter passenger rail service.








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