Ambitious coast-to-coast rail scheme given Government boost

Tuesday 28th June 2022 11:00 am
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Ambitious coast-to-coast rail scheme given Government boost ( )

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AN ambitious scheme to link Newquay, St Austell, Truro and Falmouth with direct through rail services via Par has been chosen to proceed to the next stage of the Government’s Restoring your Railway programme.

This announcement comes after the successful completion and reopening of the Okehampton to Exeter Dartmoor Line, which began daily passenger services in November last year after upgrading work to the line was delivered ahead of time and under budget.

The restored line has been hugely popular, with more than 50,000 journeys undertaken in the first 20 weeks since the line reopened – more than double the number predicted. The timetable now allows for hourly trains via Crediton.

The Mid Cornwall Metro proposal, which aims to create a coast to coast through-service connecting Newquay, Par, St Austell, Truro, Penryn and Falmouth, aims to reduce journey times and ease road congestion for people living along the route.

The proposal continues to be championed by Cornwall MPs Steve Double, who represents the St Austell and Newquay constituency, and Cherilyn Mackrory, who represents Truro and Falmouth. Mr Double said: “I am pleased to see the Mid Cornwall Metro plans move onto the next stage of the Restoring Your Railway programme and congratulate the team who have been working hard on it to get it to this stage.

“This new direct route will unlock faster, more direct routes for Newquay residents, along with the communities along the way, to get to not only Truro and Falmouth, but also the mainline and beyond, while also bringing more visitors and trade into Newquay’s businesses.

“I look forward to seeing this project continue through the next stage and will continue to work with all involved to help make it a reality.”

The Mid Cornwall Metro Rail is among schemes named as Minister Wendy Morton announced a further £15m in funding to develop nine Restoring Your Railway schemes across England.

There is no mention, however, of reinstating passenger services on the Lostwithiel to Fowey Branchline in South East Cornwall, which was mentioned as a past first stage applicant for Restoring Your Railway funding.

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