Funds made available for Tarka Line improvement
THE Tarka Line will come under review in the next month while money has been made available for improvements to the line and Barnstaple Railway Station.
The news comes after a Devon and Exeter Rail Project Working Party meeting at County Hall in Exeter on Friday.
Rodney Cann, the Devon County Councillor for Fremington Rural, asked Network Rail representatives at the meeting what message he could take back to North Devon over flooding on the line.
And he was told a full report on the matter will be available at the end of March.
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"The Tarka line is very much a success story with increasing passenger numbers," said Mr Cann.
"It's a vital link to North Devon and the problem is we are never certain when the service is available on the line or when passengers have to take a bus.
"Flooding for the Tarka Line is not just a one-off but is a regular occurrence. The line actually loses credibility with potential passengers as a result."
But Mr Cann was reassured when he was told Network Rail plan to spend £75,000 improving the Tarka Line, although how that money will be spent depends on the outcome of the report. There is also £40,000 of funding available to improve access to Barnstaple station.
• IT was also revealed at the meeting that in the month when a new John Lewis department store opened in Exeter passenger use of the Tarka Line shot up by 28.9 per cent.