Page last updated at 19:01 GMT, Friday, 19 September 2008 20:01 UK

Bid to reopen old train line

Overgrown railway. Picture courtesy of FreeFoto.com
The line would cost about 20m to reopen

A plan to re-open the railway line between Plymouth and Tavistock, 15 miles away, has taken a step forward.

Rights to the track bed of the old line will be transferred to Devon County Council later this year.

And a developer has offered to pay for the line to be restored in exchange for being allowed to build 750 new homes in Tavistock.

A planning application is now in the process of being submitted to West Devon Borough Council.

It's good for easing congestion, good for the environment and it promotes social inclusion
Jon Shaw, Centre for Sustainable Transport
The deal has been proposed by a company called Kilbride Community Rail.

Richard Burningham, from Devon and Cornwall Rail Partnership, said: "In technical and feasibility terms it would be quite an easy [line] reopening.

"But you'd need something like 20m.

"Kilbride have come along and said 'we'll do you a deal, you allow us to build a certain number of houses in Tavistock and we'll build you a railway'."

Jon Shaw, director of the Centre for Sustainable Transport at the University of Plymouth, backed the plan: "We'd like to see people move out of their cars and onto the railway lines.

"It's good for easing congestion, it's good for the environment and it promotes social inclusion."

The original Plymouth to Tavistock line was closed when Dr Beeching was tasked with reducing Britain's railway network by a third in the 1960s.

The present day line only runs as far as Bere Alston and housing has been built on some of the former track.




SEE ALSO
South West: Life after Beeching?
26 Nov 04 |  Politics Show
Rail firm pledges better service
20 Aug 04 |  Scotland
Campaign group backs railway plan
10 Aug 04 |  Derbyshire

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