Hundreds support Tarka Line stations

Communities react strongly to threatened closures

A GROUNDSWELL of public opinion has risen up against potential station closures on the popular Exeter to Barnstaple Tarka Line.

More than 470 people have signed a petition objecting to calls from the North Devon Public Transport Users’ Group to reduce the stations from 14 to just three to speed up journey times.

The signatures, in favour of keeping all stations on the line open, have gone to Secretary of State for Transport Justine Greening.

Central Devon MP Mel Stride, whose constituency includes part of the line, said: “The services provided by these stations are vital to numerous communities within my constituency; particularly in areas that lack other forms of public transport.

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“There is a great strength of feeling about these proposed closures and I will be pressing ministers hard to ensure that there are no closures.”

Mr Stride has also written to the Department for Transport in March stressing that the line should be enhanced rather than downgraded.

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A decision on which rail company will run the line from April 2013 will be made later this year. First Great Western is the current operator.

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