‘Now give us a half-hourly train service’

Mayor’s plea after improved railway station is officially unveiled.

Give us a half-hourly train service!

That is the message Honiton’s first citizen is sending the Government following the completion of a �1.4m improvement scheme at Honiton Railway Station.

Councillor Vernon Whitlock, the Mayor of Honiton, is to seek a meeting with Tiverton and Honiton MP Neil Parish - after South West Trains told him a more frequent service to Exeter and London would require Department of Transport funding.

“The station is key to the success of Honiton,” Councillor Whitlock told the Midweek Herald after the unveiling of a brass plaque marked the official re-opening of the station last Thursday.

“I pressed the case for half hourly services with Andy Pitt, the managing director of South West Trains.

“I have been assured that it is on the agenda, but needs Department of Transport funding.”

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Councillor Whitlock said an increase in the frequency of services will mean the an extension of a passing loop at Honiton.

However, such an investment could link Honiton to the Devon Metro rail system.

“I will ensure the issue is on the agenda for the next meeting of Honiton Town Council and arrange a meeting with our MP, Neil Parish,” Councillor Whitlock added.

The station was officially re-opened last Thursday.

Boasting a larger booking hall, with new facilities, and ramp access to both platforms, the improvements were marked by the unveiling of a brass plaque.

Councillor Stuart Hughes, Devon County Council’s cabinet member for Transportation, pulled the cord, watched by Mr Pitt and Councillor Whitlock.

Mr Pitt said: “We are pleased to have delivered this significant project with our partners to provide a much improved station for Honiton’s passengers.

“It is great to see these new facilities. Passengers in Honiton rely on rail for over 328 thousand journeys every year, reflecting its importance to the community and local economy.

“I am sure local residents will take pride in the new look of their train station for years to come.”

Councillor Hughes said: “This is a major investment in the station at Honiton and I’m sure it will be much appreciated by all passengers travelling to and from the town.

“The improved accessibility will make it much easier for families with young children and disabled passengers to use this line, which not only serves local communities but is also an important link to London.

“The hourly service has seen visitor numbers increase and the new facilities will hopefully encourage more people to travel by train.”