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Author Topic: Launch of the Northern Devon Railway Development Alliance  (Read 1510 times)
grahame
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« on: March 01, 2024, 12:29:36 »

Press released from Railfuture, 12:00 on 1st March 2024

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The Northern Devon Railway Development Alliance launches today, with the aim of securing a new rail link between Bideford and Barnstaple and upgrade of the North Devon (Tarka (Line from Barnstaple to Exeter)) Line between Exeter and Barnstaple.
 
Thirty representatives from 13 stakeholder organisations came together to commit jointly to build on local council resolutions already passed and funding already committed to develop a compelling case to be put to government to support the reconnection of the long-marginalised Torridge community of over 40,000 people.
 
This set the scene for the inaugural gathering of the new Northern Devon Railway Development Alliance at an event organised by Railfuture in Bideford’s historic Royal Hotel on Friday 1st March 2024, with the aim of reversing Beeching’s Bideford closure in 1965.
 
Torridge & West Devon MP (Member of Parliament) the Rt Hon Sir Geoffrey Cox KC said in a statement “You are embarking on a very worthwhile cause.  There is substantial support in Torridge for exploring the viability and economic case for this important railway connection to Barnstaple.  Housing and population growth are likely to require improved communication links in the future.  Such a link would no doubt require the upgrading of the line between Barnstaple and Exeter, and that too would have incalculable benefits for Torridge.”
 
North Devon MP Selaine Saxby, like Sir Geoffrey unable to be present, also issued a statement saying “I wholeheartedly support the Northern Devon Railway Development Alliance’s ambition to restore the rail link between Bideford and Barnstaple, and to upgrade the existing Tarka Line between Barnstaple and Exeter.  The proposal to re-establish the old railway line between Barnstaple and Bideford, although not necessarily a replica of the former route, would be a huge advantage for locals and tourists alike.”
 
Devon County Council’s Andrea Davis, Cabinet Member for Climate Change, Environment and Transport added “Devon County Council and Peninsula Transport are committed to decarbonising the transport system, improving connectivity and giving genuine transport choice for our residents, visitors and businesses.  In Devon we have a track record for re-opening rail links, opening stations and integrating transport modes.  Improving connectivity for residents in Northern Devon, supporting new development with transport infrastructure and creating healthy, connected communities for the future is key to our future wellbeing and prosperity.”
 
The new Alliance’s statement of purpose is “To secure a new rail link between Bideford and Barnstaple and upgrade of the North Devon (Tarka) Line between Exeter and Barnstaple, championing their transformational benefits for communities and businesses and advocating to decision-makers the economic, social and environmental case for developing and investing in the project.”
 
60 years ago these communities lost their rail lifeline and have struggled economically ever since.  Charles Kingsley wrote ‘Westward Ho!’ there, Rudyard Kipling was schooled there, Winston Churchill and Dwight D. Eisenhower met there, it’s home to the annual Appledore Book Festival, and 170 years since its foundation Appledore shipyard now witnesses Harland & Wolff continuing ship building there.
 
Three years ago the town welcomed the return of the original name and number plates from steam locomotive ‘Bideford’ with the Town’s then Mayor quipping that what he really wanted was the return of the town’s railway!  The local Tarka Rail Association with its ‘ACE Rail’ campaign supported by national lobby group Railfuture have since been developing local support for just that, culminating in the formation of the new Alliance.
 
Railfuture is the UK (United Kingdom)'s leading independent organisation campaigning for better rail services for both passengers and freight.

More information on Railfuture's website at https://www.railfuture.org.uk/Devon-and-Cornwall-Branch#Railway_Reopenings

Follow Railfuture on X/Twitter: twitter.com/Railfuture
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« Reply #1 on: March 02, 2024, 07:28:21 »

Barnstaple trains are already overloaded and if Bideford was added in could not cope.
GWR (Great Western Railway) has always preferred to plod along and were never really behind Okehampton because of a latent demand they could not cope with, but their hand was forced.
The hourly service to Okehampton has exceeded their expectations and I am sure a half hour service, in the peaks at least, from Barnstaple would exceed expectations; as did the half hourly service from Paignton when it was first introduced by way of an EU» (European Union - about) subsidy.

All the jobs are being created in Exeter. Job creation in Torbay which is bigger in area and population than Exeter has failed to produce significant jobs and the continual housebuilding has made it a commuter town.

I read somewhere to grow passenger numbers you need a minimum half hour service and ideally a 20 minute service.
 
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grahame
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« Reply #2 on: March 02, 2024, 10:17:29 »

Barnstaple trains are already overloaded and if Bideford was added in could not cope.

GWR (Great Western Railway) has always preferred to plod along and were never really behind Okehampton because of a latent demand they could not cope with, but their hand was forced.

The hourly service to Okehampton has exceeded their expectations and I am sure a half hour service, in the peaks at least, from Barnstaple would exceed expectations; as did the half hourly service from Paignton when it was first introduced by way of an EU» (European Union - about) subsidy.

All the jobs are being created in Exeter. Job creation in Torbay which is bigger in area and population than Exeter has failed to produce significant jobs and the continual housebuilding has made it a commuter town.

I read somewhere to grow passenger numbers you need a minimum half hour service and ideally a 20 minute service.
 

So much to add to that ... first, here are some stats showing the relative flow sizes over recent years









OK - if the trains are overcrowded, make them longer.  Up to perhaps 6 carriages and loads will balance out along the train - longer and you may get uneven loading - but did you see that picture I posted of the suburban train in Budapest showing loading levels?

Service frequency - yes, 30 minutes would be good - but it very much depends on the route length and characteristics of the travellers.  Every half hour on the Central line would lead to complaints; every half on The Ghan would be excessive provision.  Noting that Crediton is already every half hour.
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