Plans submitted for Cranbrook railway station

Devon train

Posted on: 2 April 2012

A planning application has been submitted by Devon County Council for a £4.5million railway station at Cranbrook.

Outline permission was granted for the scheme in October 2010, and the layout for the station was approved by the County Council’s Cabinet in March last year.

The scheme, which has been developed by Devon County Council, East Devon District Council and the New Community Partnership, working with Network Rail and South West Trains, includes a single platform, with the potential for a second track and a second platform.

Since the outline planning application for the Cranbrook New Community was approved, detailed assessments have been carried out on the level of flood compensation required to fully mitigate the effects of building in the floodplain.

The station will be within reasonable walking and cycling distance for many Cranbrook residents and secure, sheltered cycle parking will be provided at the station. There will also be taxi facilities and a dedicated bus loop to provide convenient access to the station entrance.

Councillor Stuart Hughes, Devon County Council Cabinet Member for Highways and Transportation, said: “Sustainable transport has always been an essential element of the Exeter and East Devon Growth Point and the railway station is a key development within that. The station will serve Cranbrook, Skypark and the Exeter Science Park and will help to reduce people’s reliance on the car, providing them with alternative forms of transport to travel to work and school.”

Councillor Peter Bowden, local County Councillor for Broadclyst and Whimple, said: “The new station at Cranbrook adds one more piece of vital infrastructure to our local transport needs. I remain hopeful that our dialogue with rail operators and Network Rail will realise the improvements to the local commuting and Devon Metro link services that we’re seeking.”

The introduction of a passing loop at Axminster in 2009 has helped deliver an improved hourly service on the Waterloo to Exeter line. The timetable is in place for an hourly service between Cranbrook and Exeter city centre and towards London, and South West Trains anticipates that all services on the line will call at Cranbrook.

Subject to planning approval work is scheduled to start on site in Spring 2013.

15 comments on “Plans submitted for Cranbrook railway station

  1. Stephen Schlich on said:

    Today’s Express and Echo talks of a half-hour train service between Cranbrook and Exeter. Is this really true? And will the trains also stop at Whimple and Pinhoe, as they ought to?

    • Devon Newscentre on said:

      Hi Stephen,
      We have lobbied the Department for Transport on our aspiration for two trains per hour between Exeter and Honiton/Axminster to reflect the growth in employment and housing in the area, and we will continue to press for this both within the new Great Western franchise and for when the South West Trains Franchise is re-let in 2016.
      The first step is to open Cranbrook Station, which Devon County Council is funding, and is expected in 2014. South West Trains already has provision for this in the timetable.
      Devon County Council has also been in discussion with South West Trains on achieving more stops at Pinhoe, which in recent years has seen patronage growth as both a morning origin and destination station with the growth of the Exeter Business Park and housing close by. We are also aware that there are track path constraints (due to other trains using the track) that limit the number of stops e.g. Feniton and Whimple.

    • chris poole on said:

      no station til 2015 right ???

    • Hi Chris, the station is still due for delivery in late 2014. Network Rail issued the Invitation to Tender for the platform works in August and are expected to award a Design and Build contract at the end of 2013, with design taking 4 – 5 months and construction following through summer and into autumn. Thanks.

  2. Phil Wakely on said:

    Why is Cranbrook the railhead for the Science Park? Pinhoe station is considerably nearer (walking distance). Although, with the current timetable and trains stopping at either Pinhoe or Whimple and Feniton, I guess that Feniton residents will need to get off at Cranbrook rather than Pinhoe to get to the Science Park (so they will resort to using their cars instead)!

    Also, I think pigs have a better chance of flying than Cranbrook residents using anything other than cars for their daily commute regardless of what planners think.

    • Exactly… You’ve hit the nail on the head there Phil…

      It’s a ‘Shangri La’ world that these planners are living in…

      If you look at all of the developement sites here in the Cranbrook Area today..

      Well Nobody’s Working today. Why? Well ‘Surprise’ ‘Surprise’
      It’s because it’s all ‘FLOODED’
      They just don’t Want to listen….Don’t Build On Flood Plains’

    • Phil Wakely on said:

      “Well Nobody’s Working today. Why? Well ‘Surprise’ ‘Surprise’
      It’s because it’s all ‘FLOODED’
      They just don’t Want to listen….Don’t Build On Flood Plains’”

      If you or I put in planning permission to build a single property on a flood plain, we would never get permission. However, when big business (or rather big bucks or ‘who you know’ does it, you can bet that planners will fall over backwards to accommodate their proposals

  3. Devon Newscentre on said:

    Thanks for your comments everyone. I’ll try to sum up! We are actively planning a station for Marsh Barton, after Cranbrook. We’re not planning a direct link into the airport though – this was investigated some time ago and found not viable, but there’s possible scope for a taxi/minibus link from Cransbrook station to the airport if patronage at the airport grows significantly. We don’t have plans at present for a passenger service between Heathfield and Newton Abbot – we’re pleased that the line’s being used again for freight but a park and ride service on the line wouldn’t be viable.

    About the cost of the Cranbrook station – it’ll be a long, 6 car, platform with 150 space car park, constructed alongside a main railway with all the constraints and safety requirements that that imposes. And at Cullompton, a new train station would be possible in layout terms but there’s no train service that would call there. We’ve made the case in our response to the Government’s consultation, (the new Great Western Rail Franchise), for an hourly stopping service between Taunton and Exeter. If that could be achieved within the new franchise then it would pave the way for a station added at Cullompton.

  4. Bob. Smith. on said:

    Why not do the obvious and follow the same principle by providing a park and ride service along the existing goods line from the A38 at Drumbridges to Newton Abbot and Torbay? There are even existing platforms next to the candy Tiles factory. Should have been done many years ago.

  5. Gordon Guest on said:

    so if a railway station is good for Cranbrook, how about Cullompton. The town has a main line railway running right through it. Cullompton has a pop 0f 8,629 people in 2010 and is growing rapidly. So how about a railway station. If South west trains can poot a loop in the line for passing trains why can Great western and railtrack not do the same in Cullompton.
    Have you seen the proce of petrol and diesal recently!!! More railway staions please.

  6. A station at Marsh Barton would be good for people who have to get to County Hall, which is pretty inaccessible by public transport from the North of Devon.

  7. Bishoo on said:

    Can someone please explain to me why a simple thing like a railway staion will cost £4.5 million, a sum which would cover the cost of 40 new houses? Will it have gold plated taps in marble toilet facilities, Wilton carpeting and GPlan furnishings in the waiting room and hairdressing, massage and sauna facilities for the use of stressed out passengers while they wait for their train?

    Or, as I suspect, will it simply be an elevated concrete slab with a few benches under tubular pipe and perspex shelters and a couple of litter bins?

  8. Julie on said:

    There’s no mention of a link to the airport… is that likely? Coming from the East, you can either drive and park there at huge expense, or take public transport which involves passing the airport, travelling into Exeter and waiting for a bus to come out again.

    It’s a lost opportunity if there’s no direct public rail link.

  9. ros Cummings on said:

    When do we get an airport link?

  10. Steven on said:

    When do we get one at Marsh Barton? Great for Cranbrook though.

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