1. Dawlish sea wall to be inspected after homes evacuated and containers ripped
From the Exeter Express & Echo
Hopes to reopen the devastated Dawlish
rail route within six weeks may have taken a blow after the sea wall was
extensively damaged during last night’s storm. Network Rail says inspections will take
place this morning to understand the scale of the damage but they won’t know its
impact on timescales until the middle of next week. The rail authority had been hoping to
install a base layer of concrete foundation this weekend but may now have to
modify their design and clear away the new damage. A spokesman said engineers will continue
to work around the clock, weather permitting, to restore the route.
He said: “Considerable damage was caused
right across the South West last night, and engineers have been out overnight
assessing the full extent of the damage and removing trees from the tracks. “At Dawlish, the wall received further
damage adjacent to the failure site, and whilst the temporary barrier held in
place, significant additional damage was caused.
“This weekend we had been hoping to
install the base layer of the concrete foundation, but that will clearly now not
be met and we need to fully understand the extent of the new damage, modify our
design and clear the new damage away.” “The temporary sea wall performed
heroically and remains intact but there has been further extensive damage to the
wall. “This will clearly have an impact on
timescales but won't know till midweek
what they may now be.”
2. Stagecoach cuts bus fares to help communities affected by Dawlish rail
From a Stagecoach press release
Discounts of up to 50% on single and return fares on key routes in
Rail tickets accepted for bus journeys between Exeter and Newton
Further extension of bus multi-journey ticket travel zones to
include areas affected by rail disruption
Special arrangements to remain in place until South West rail line
Stagecoach, Britain's biggest bus operator, on Friday 14 February 2014
confirmed a package of measures to help communities affected by the closure of
the storm-damaged railway line at Dawlish in Devon.
Around 80 metres of sea wall was destroyed by high tides and storms last
week, causing a significant stretch of railway to collapse into the sea.
is underway to repair the sea-wall, but it is estimated that the damage means
the line between Exeter St David’s and Newton Abbot will not re-open until
Stagecoach, which operates around 330 buses across the south-west of England,
is discounting single and return fares on key routes in Devon by up to 50%.
The reduced fares will be available from today on its Hop2, Hop11 and B bus
services, for all stops along the coast between Starcross and Newton Abbot.
The company is further extending the travel zones covered by its
multi-journey tickets to include areas affected by rail disruption. The zone for
its Torbay Dayrider and Megarider tickets is being expanded to include journeys
between Teignmouth, Newton Abbot and Torquay.
It follows last week's announcement by Stagecoach that it was extending the
coverage of its 'Exeter Plus’ Dayrider and Megarider zone to include
Stagecoach also confirmed that it will be accepting First Great Western rail
tickets on its bus journeys between Exeter and Newton Abbot while rail services
Michael Watson, Managing Director of Stagecoach South West,
"Communities in the south-west are facing a daily struggle against the
impact of some of the most severe and relentless weather conditions we've ever
"Transport is absolutely vital to our region to get people to work and ensure
they can get on as best they can with their daily lives. At times like this it's
important we all pull together."
Anne Maris Morris, Member of Parliament for Newton Abbot,
"Minimising the disruption for the travelling public both
practically and financially is crucial while we put in place a more resilient
railway line at Dawlish.
"I welcome this announcement from Stagecoach about further fare reductions
and rail tickets being accepted on buses, which will remain in place until the
train line is up and running again."
Emma Kay, Town Centre Development Manager for Dawlish and Teignmouth, added:
"We are delighted to hear that Stagecoach are providing more support for those
affected by travel and have now included Teignmouth too. The railway is an
essential link for our communities, which is being highlighted by the disruption
that the closure is causing."
Stagecoach pledged that the special fares and extended travel zones will
remain in place until the railway line at Dawlish is re-opened.