County launches campaign for storm cash

Devon County Council is launching a campaign to repair the region's road and rail network.

Devon County Council is launching a campaign to repair the region's road and rail network. - Credit: Archant

Report will highlight evidence of Devon’s ‘battered’ road and rail network.

AN urgent report into the economic effects of last year’s severe storms on Devon’s transport network has been ordered by county council leader John Hart.

Councillor Hart is calling for the report to provide hard evidence so Devon County Council can launch a concerted campaign for urgent Government action to repair the battered rail and road network.

“I want to know the economic cost of the damage to our railways and roads,” said Mr Hart.

“We can’t have our trains not running on a regular basis. We can then call on our MPs to back us in winning national support to put this right.

“This has been unprecedented in my view. I do not remember flooding as bad as this in my lifetime in terms of volume and regularity and the problems it has caused.”

Mr Hart said county council leaders would be meeting Devon’s MPs within the next few weeks and the impact the storms have had on the county’s infrastructure would be top of the agenda.

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Devon’s Cabinet member for transport, Cllr Stuart Hughes, said the report would give the authority the hard evidence it needed to make its case.

Liberal Democrat leader Des Hannon called it a ‘very sensible approach’.

He said: “This is not an acceptable situation. Cowley Bridge has to be the first target and it’s obvious it has to be fixed.”

“Labour’s Richard Westlake said the line between Dawlish and Teignmouth also had to be sorted out.

“We have had a major transport route with no trains running on it,” he said.

“We must have a plan of action to put that right.”

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