18th August 2020
Today, Teignbridge District Council approved Network Rail’s plans for the remaining section of the new sea wall at Dawlish, which will provide increased protection for the railway from extreme weather and rising sea levels for generations to come.
Network Rail hopes to begin construction work on the second section of wall, which runs for 415m between the Coastguards and Colonnade breakwaters, later this year. It follows the opening of the first section at Marine Parade in July and will complete the £80m Government-funded project.
The work will see a high-level wider and safer public promenade incorporated into a new sea wall, ramped pedestrian access to the beach, a footbridge to link the two parts of the sea wall and an accessible footbridge with lifts for Dawlish station.
The reconstruction of the timber seaward platform will also improve accessibility, making it easier for passengers to get on and off trains at the Grade II listed station, which is used by more than half a million people each year.
Construction is expected to take around two years and deliver a £10m boost to the local economy, on top of the £5m spent on local labour, materials and accommodation for Marine Parade.
Network Rail’s director for the Western Route Mike Gallop said:
“We know the local community in Dawlish feels strongly about the future of the sea wall and the resilience of the railway and we have listened to their views while developing our plans to protect the railway and the town from extreme weather.
"We are pleased that Teignbridge District Council has approved the remaining section of the new sea wall and thank members for their thorough reviews of our plans throughout the process to date.
“We are delighted with the positive feedback we’ve received from residents about Marine Parade and we know many are looking forward to the improved accessibility the work from Coastguards to Colonnade will bring.
"The new sea wall will protect this vital rail artery to the south west for the next 100 years. World leading engineers have designed these plans, having considered hundreds of other options, and it will ensure the railway line is more resilient for generations to come.”
Image: Network Rail