Network Rail are due to update Teignmouth town council on their proposals (possibly destroying the entire beach between Holcombe and Teignmouth) tomorrow, Tuesday 1st October at 6.30 p.m. Please attend and let our councillors know your views if you possibly can. Sorry for the lack of notice - anyone would think they didn't want us to know!
To: Network Rail
Save Holcombe Beach
Ensure that the outstanding beauty and amenity value of Holcombe Beach is recognised and protected in any future rail resilience work.
Why is this important?
Following storm damage in 2014, Network Rail are currently working on a resilience programme to upgrade the London to Penzance railway between Exeter and Newton Abbot.
In 2018 they hosted public forums and presented plans to build a new line 30 -40 metres out to sea at Holcombe - a scheme which would have annihilated the beach.
In November last year they then announced that revised plans were now being considered. Subsequent Freedom of Information requests for details have been denied, "in the public interest".
In February 2019, Network Rail advised that their current proposal between Parson's Tunnel and Teignmouth is, "to deliver a new railway alignment involving a new sea wall beyond the footprint of the existing."
Holcombe Beach, with it's open sea aspect framed by the towering red Devon cliffs, is possibly the most visually outstanding part of any journey on the iconic train route, and has been a cherished destination for both local's and visitors for many generations.
Whilst it is agreed that the railway must be maintained and updated, we enjoin that this must not be to the detriment of a special and unique location. Network Rail must use their best endeavours to ensure that any development they undertake specifically maintains or enhances the visual and environmental merits of Holcombe Beach. Appropriate independent cost benefit analysis should be included in order that the opportunity cost of particular actions can be evaluated.