Councillor Andrea Davies provided an update at the recent full council meeting of Devon County Council with regards to the proposed railway station at Marsh Barton. Progress had been hampered by a rapid rise in costs and the station was unsuccessful in round 2 of the New Stations Fund.
There have been a number of issues that caused costs to escalate and as a result delayed construction. As a result of the delay, we have taken the opportunity to re-think the design of the access to the station and have come up with an alternative solution, which provides additional benefits to pedestrians and cyclists, whilst still delivering the new Station.
However, there are several challenges ahead to ensure that the scheme is delivered. These are areas where we need to now focus our efforts:
- Securing planning for the revised scheme
- Gaining rail technical approvals
- Maximising efficiencies through rail possessions
- Managing works when they get to site
We have now secured funding which covers the current project estimate cost, excluding contingency. Additionally working with the rail industry we have potentially identified suggestions to help make further savings on the scheme, providing the needed contingency and this should enable us to proceed.
Progress is dependent on Network Rail responding promptly to the various technical approvals, experience suggests obtaining these approvals can be very time consuming and complicated. Delays are currently being experienced and the programme is beginning to slip, and potentially cost increases will be incurred. In the same way that DfT provided additional support and authority with Newcourt on the New Stations Fund scheme, we have contacted the DfT to assist in encouraging a collaborative effort on the project.