• “Our trainline needs money not press releases” Luke Pollard MP to tell Theresa May
  • Department for Transport has plan for £300million of funds for Dawlish yet to be announced
  • Labour has committed £2.5 billion to upgrading the south west’s transport links

Today at Prime Ministers Questions, Luke Pollard MP for Plymouth Sutton and Devonport will ask the PM for a major funding commitment to repair the rail line damage at Dawlish.

Next week marks the 5th anniversary of the devastation of the south west rail line at Dawlish. The south west lost £1bn when Dawlish was washed away in 2014. Despite promises by the then Prime Minister David Cameron that “money is no object” and recently from the Transport Secretary that repairing Dawlish is his “number one national priority”, long term resilience work has yet to start.

In November 2018, 30% of CrossCountry trains to Plymouth terminated early at Exeter because the Voyager trains could not get through Dawlish in bad weather – disconnecting Plymouth and the far south-west from the rest of the country.

The Labour MP’s question follows previous calls to the Chancellor of the Exchequer and the Transport Secretary to fund proper resilience work at Dawlish and to commit to rail upgrades.

Luke Pollard MP will say at PMQs:

“Next week marks five years since the train line at Dawlish in Devon was washed away by storms. Five years on we have had promises and soundbites aplenty but we need money not more press releases.

The Prime Minister will know that the DfT has a plan to fund £300m of long-term upgrades at Dawlish but hasn’t announced them so can she use the anniversary next week to unblock this funding so we can keep our fragile trainline open and resilient all year round.”

In 2017, Labour committed £2.5 billion to upgrade the south west’s transport links. Luke Pollard recently called for CrossCountry services to use Great Western Rail’s High Speed Trains that are being replaced with newer trains for extra Dawlish-proof capacity.

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