This morning I welcomed the Secretary of State for Transport, Chris Grayling MP, to Dawlish as part of his announcement outlining the Investing in the South West strategy paper. The Minister took the opportunity to visit the sea wall along Marine Parade, and travel on one of the new GWR trains.
I very much welcome the Government’s announcement that they will be investing £80 million in the new sea wall at Dawlish. This will provide greater protection to both the railway and homes and ensure that we have a resilient railway line for decades to come. This follows Network Rail’s announcement earlier this month they are submitting plans for the new sea wall to Teignbridge District Council. This is a positive step forward for the railway line at Dawlish and I welcome their progress. The proposed new sea wall would be 7.5 metres high compared to the current 5 metre wall and would feature a wider and safer promenade. Plans for the wall consider current weather forecasts, as well as predictions of sea level rises for the next 100 years.
With Network Rail now moving to submit the plans, Teignbridge District Council will be able to formally consult the local community on the proposed designs. Continued engagement with the community on this is crucial to ensure that local views are taken on board and considered.