Friday, February 21, 2014
Neil Parish inspects the damage caused to the track during the recent storms
MP Neil Parish visited storm-ravaged Seaton Tramway this week and backed calls for government aid for the local tourist industry.
A lengthy section of trackbed was washed away and the riverside depot flooded when ferocious winds and huge seas battered the resort on Valentine’s Day.
Mr Parish said he was shocked by the extent of the damage.
He told Tramway managing director Jenny Nunn: “We need to be fully supportive of the urgent repair work required at Seaton Tramway as this is an important tourist attraction which contributes hugely to the local economy.
“As government grant monies become available, I will be supporting local tourism businesses including Seaton Tramway in their bids.”
Mr Parish wished the Tramway well with its mini service from Colyton which was due to open at the weekend. He said it was crucial people came out and supported it.
Two trams were due to be transported by road today (Friday, February 21) from the base at Seaton to Colyton in order that a scaled-down service can start to operate from there to Colyford while the major repairs are taking place to the track further to the south.
The special Rainbow ticket of £5 for adults and £2.50 for children will allow for a round trip to Colyford on the day of purchase and a free return visit before Easter in order for the tramway to kick-start its season.
In the meantime Mrs Nunn has called for Government support to help this important tourism area to recover quickly after the storm damage.
She asked whether Mr Parish could tackle ministers on providing funding to promote Devon and the South West with future advertising campaigns before the summer season and, in the longer term, with more financial support for Visit Devon etc.
Mr Parish agreed and said he would raise this issue with ministers.