No longer trivial interest to spin doctors’

PUBLISHED: 09:00 04 November 2009 | UPDATED: 00:29 16 June 2010

In a couple of months' time, Honiton will have probably the best rail service in its history with the introduction of an hourly rail service to Exeter and London Waterloo. It was five years ago that Honiton Town Council added its voice to that of other

In a couple of months' time, Honiton will have probably the best rail service in its history with the introduction of an hourly rail service to Exeter and London Waterloo.

It was five years ago that Honiton Town Council added its voice to that of other towns and councils to call for much needed improvements to rail services in East Devon. Together with others, we lobbied Network Rail and the Department of Transport to reinstall a stretch of double track to enable an improved service.

The new timetable being introduced in December is the result of that successful, combined lobbying and the acknowledgement by the Government and Network Rail that rail transport has a key part to play in our transport infrastructure.

However, we should not be content with an hourly service. In 2004 Devon County Council and Somerset County Council commissioned a joint report into possible improvements on the Exeter - Waterloo line.

The first one, an hourly service, will soon become reality. The second, a half hourly service between Axminster and Honiton to Exeter, has yet to be realised. This needs to happen.

Improved rail transport has a key role to play in both reducing carbon emissions and stimulating the economy and I will be asking Honiton Town Council to add its voice to the call for further improvements.

I will also be personally writing to the government minister responsible for rail, Andrew Adonis, a long-time rail enthusiast, and ask for his support for the additional service.

Vernon Whitlock

Labour Parliamentary Prospective Candidate

Tiverton & Honiton Constituency


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