200 people attended Britain Remade meeting for the TavyRAIL cause April 2024

Address by TavyRAIL 24th April 2024

TavyRAIL contribution to Britain Remade Event in Tavistock Town Hall

The leaflets for this meeting tonight announced that it would be held in the Rundle Room - which holds 40 people. This in part was because Britain Remade didn’t realise the full extent of the massive popular support there is for the return of our Tavistock to Plymouth line. We are in the Town Hall because around 200 people wanted to come!

The reinstatement of our link is the all-important second phase of the restoration of the entire Northern Route between Exeter to Plymouth – via Tavistock.  It is crucial both to Tavistock and the wider region. The line will take us directly right into the heart of Plymouth (Plymouth Central station) - and so will have a massive impact on Tavistock and West Devon and indeed Plymouth.

The Beeching Report was a catastrophic failure of both judgement and vision. It identified 2,363 stations and 5,000 miles of railway line for closure. Ultimately 55% of UK stations were to close. It is generally agreed that closing both Tavistock lines was among the ten worst closures. They had a massive impact on Tavistock and the whole of West Devon. When on May 5, 1968, the last train left Tavistock North Station, Beeching cut off businesses, families and whole communities once dependent on the railway.

The closure also badly effected city of Plymouth which was left with a single main line running along a beach! This was effected high winds / tides, rock falls, sea level rises and Tesco delivery drivers knocking down bridges. Ten years ago, the Darwish disaster closed the line for six weeks during which the peninsular lost approaching a one billion in revenue – enough to cover the whole of the Northern Route restoration 

Today there are perhaps even more reasons to reconnect the Tavistock Plymouth section. Firstly our population has increased from 9,000 to over 12,500. Secondly, the A386 into Plymouth has become increasingly congested – and will become even more so when over two thousand new houses north of Plymouth come on stream. Thirdly, the climate emergency. As you read this an iceberg the size of Wales has broken off Antarctica. Sea levels are rising

Where are we now? The success of the Exeter to Okehampton Dartmoor line restoration demonstrated the potential future success of our line when restored. Over 500,000 people used the Dartmoor line in its first two years of operation. Additionally, the restoration line made a monumental difference to Okehampton as a town and as a region. It is now to get a second station. The restoration of the Tavistock to Plymouth line would make a similarly huge difference to Tavistock High Street, our communities, West Devon and West Plymouth.

There is massive cross-party political support for our line. But for the death of our dear late Queen four MPs last September, we were to have a meeting in our Town Hall to celebrate the presentation of our BID. It was to be attended by Minister for Transport, Sir Geoffery Cox MP and two other MPs. I have not the slightest doubt that that meeting would have been as well attended as this meeting

What now?  We need to maintain our relentless enthusiasm and support for the cause.  We also need to ensure that our MPs are kept fully aware that their success in the coming election is going to be in part dependent on their support for the restoration of the Tavistock Plymouth line.

What can you do? Above join us, attend our events and email your MP. Find us on Facebook or on www.tavyrail.2day.uk – today!

Richard Searight

Chair of TavyRAIL 

The Tavistock to Bere Alston line is to reopen!

Our line restoration is extraordinarily exciting and important news.

The reopening of our Tavistock to Plymouth line was a political, economic and social necessity – both in the medium and long-term.

There will be a short pause before TavyRAIL starts campaigning for the Tavistock Okehampton reopening - as of course the restoration of our entire line will cost less than 2 miles of HS2. Perhaps we should leave that until next week!

South West? 

  • Funding for vital Exeter to Plymouth rail line: making it more resilient in the face of extreme weather. 
  • Rail improvements, including reopening and reintroducing passenger services to Cullompton and Wellington.
  • A new station built at Tavistock: connecting it with Plymouth. Plus, five miles of track will be reinstated.
  • £100 million in funding for the West of England Combined Authority 
  • £140 million in funding to ensure the delivery of 12 road schemes, among them the A38 in North Somerset. 
  • A further £1 billion fund for new road schemes around the South West, South East and East of England. 
  • Access to £2.8 billion roads resurfacing fund to combat the potholes. 
  • £2 bus fare extended until the end of December 2024 instead of rising to £2.50 as planned. 
  • £0.8bn from the City Regional Sustainable Transport Settlement 2 budget and savings from HS2.

Restoring our Railway:

  • Regenerates local economic growth
  • Reconnects communities
  • Reduces road congestion
  • Restores lost connectivity as a result railway closures
  • Reduces climate change CO2
Also will:
  • Complement existing Tamar Valley services to Gunnislake.
  • Transform public transport between Tavistock and Plymouth - relieving increasing road congestion into the city
  • Treble the train service for deprived communities in Plymouth and also boost access to jobs in Devonport Dockyard.
Click for full details of the plan

Click for the full BID proposal