New train stations will bring economic benefit and ease traffic congestion in the city
Posted on: 11 December 2012
Councillors this week approved layout plans for two new railway stations for Exeter, prior to formal planning applications being submitted.
The two new stations, at Newcourt and Marsh Barton, will be part of the Devon Metro initiative, developed to help the local rail network improve capacity and quality of service.
They are supported by Devon County Council’s Local Transport Plan and Exeter City’s Local Development Framework.
Newcourt station will be located adjacent to the former Royal Naval Stores Depot development area, with journey times into the city centre of just over 10 minutes.
It will consist of a single 124 metre platform, suitable for longer trains, and will include a shelter, ticket machine and customer information system.
Pedestrian and cyclists’ access will mainly be from Liberty Way.
A small drop off area and parking for disabled people will also be provided.
The station at Marsh Barton will be centrally located within the trading estate, near the rail bridge served off Alphin Brook Road.
It will provide the opportunity for rail commuting from South and East Devon to the estate, relieving pressure on the A379 and Countess Wear.
Two platforms, both 124 metres long, will be linked by a footbridge with a lift. The platforms will have shelters, ticket machines and a customer information system.
Because Marsh Barton station will be used more by commuters travelling to work, it will have only limited parking, accessed from the Riverside Valley Park side of the railway, with spaces available for disabled people.
Access for pedestrians, cyclists, and for emergency vehicles will from the Marsh Barton side of the station.
Both the Newcourt and Marsh Barton stations will include secure cycle facilities and CCTV security.
Proposals for the new stations have been positively received by the Devon and Exeter Rail Working Party and are supported by First Great Western and Network Rail, the Rail Users Group and the Devon and Cornwall Rail Partnership.
Formal applications for planning permissions will now be made, with further consultation as part of the planning process.
Preliminary estimated costs, subject to the final designs, are expected to be in the region of £2 million for the new station at Newcourt, and £4 million for the station at Marsh Barton.
Funding has yet to be secured, but the Council hopes that with the outline designs agreed and with planning permission, they’ll be in a stronger position to secure external funding.
Devon County Council’s Cabinet Member with responsibility for Highways and Transportation, Cllr Stuart Hughes, said:
“We have an excellent rail network in Devon, with many of our major market and coastal towns well connected with Exeter, providing transport for work, leisure or shopping.
“We are keen that the rail network fulfils its potential and these two new stations will build upon recent funding secured for additional services and capacity on local routes out of Exeter.
“Economic assessment has shown that the proposed new stations would be good value for money providing travel time benefits for rail users who would be able to avoid traffic congestion on surrounding roads. Other road users are anticipated to benefit from congestion relief.
“There are few counties in the country making such major steps with the rail network and I will be encouraging Members to support this ongoing investment in the rail system, which is fundamental in supporting sustainable growth across the county.”
Councillor Andrew Leadbetter, County Councillor for St Loyes and Topsham, said:
“I’ve been listening to people about the proposals and have taken their views on board.
“I’m looking forward to when the station is open, offering an alternative mode of transport to local residents, whilst also helping to reduce congestion on local roads, including Topsham Road.”
Councillor Vanessa Newcombe, County Councillor for Alphington and Cowick, said:
“I welcome the progress of the proposal to put a new railway station in Marsh Barton. It will be a great asset to the area.”
The planning applications will be considered by the Council’s independent Development Management Committee in the New Year.Posted in: Environment