Devon’s newest railway station at Marsh Barton, in Exeter, is taking shape as work continues at pace this summer.
The station, located on the eastern edge of Marsh Barton near the Energy from Waste plant, is being developed by GRAHAM on behalf of Devon County Council, and is due to open this winter.
Partners involved in the development of the new station at Marsh Barton were recently invited to visit the site to see how work is progressing.
Since the new pedestrian and cycle overbridge at the site was lifted into place in February, two approach ramps have been installed to either side, with the final sections shortly to be added. The bridge, which will provide a traffic free route for pedestrians and cyclists alongside Clapperbrook Lane, is due to open in the autumn.
The station will be equipped with two platforms and progress has been made on fitting them out with edging slabs, lighting columns and fencing as well as emergency access ramps on each side.
Local leaders have welcomed the benefit that it would bring to the wider area as well as Exeter’s largest trading estate.
Councillor Andrea Davis, County Council Cabinet Member for Climate Change, Environment and Transport, said: “The development of the railway station at Marsh Barton is a hugely important piece of infrastructure that supports our Devon Metro ambitions. This investment in our rail network will help with the recovery of Devon’s economy and future growth, while also supporting our carbon reduction targets. It’s great to see such excellent progress on the platforms and the project remains on track to open this coming winter.”
Karl Tucker, Chair of the Heart of the South West LEP, said: “I am delighted to see that the new station at Marsh Barton, Exeter is now taking shape, supported by £4.4m from our Growth Deal fund. It is great that residents and workers will soon be able to get to and from Marsh Barton and South West Exeter by train, supporting our clean growth ambitions, and the station will unlock development of the wider area.”
Councillor Duncan Wood, Exeter City Council’s Lead Councillor for Climate Change, said: “The new station and its improved transport links will make Marsh Barton and the west of the Exe so much more accessible to those travelling by train, bicycle and on foot. With the added benefit of a new cycle and footbridge, commuters, visitors and shoppers will be able to make the short journey without having to rely on the car and that has to be good for everyone - cutting congestion, reducing our carbon emissions and improving people’s health and wellbeing.”
Teignbridge Executive Member for Planning, Councillor Gary Taylor, said: “Good progress is being made in constructing this important sustainable transport link for Teignbridge residents living nearby and for those commuting into South West Exeter on the Riviera Line ‘Devon Metro’ service. Cyclists and pedestrians will have easy access to the platforms which will help enhance active travel via the nearby Riverside Valley Park and Exe Estuary Trail. When complete it will make a significant difference for many people."
Councillor Yvonne Atkinson, County Councillor for Alphington and Cowick, said: “I really enjoyed the site visit to see progress on the new station. I can see it will look really nice when finished. The new bridge will keep pedestrians and cyclist safe. This station will bring lots of people to the River Valley Park and also to work. It will allow people from Alphington to get the train to Penzance and the city centre. It will really put Alphington on the map.”
Once complete, Marsh Barton station is due to be served by hourly Great Western Railway services between Paignton and Exmouth, with additional services at peak times. The new station will open up the south end of Exeter to business and leisure users alike.
Kevin Miller, Network Rail Senior Sponsor, said: “Network Rail is delighted to be supporting Devon County Council and GRAHAM in the delivery of Marsh Barton station - being a great example of how all the partners, including Devon County Council, GRAHAM and Great Western Railway can work together to deliver improved rail journeys for passengers, with construction undertaken by parties other than Network Rail. Once the station at Marsh Barton is constructed, Network Rail will support Entry into Service and take over ongoing ownership and maintenance.”
Matt Barnes, GWR Head of Strategic Service Development, said: “We are delighted to see Marsh Barton station taking shape. Travel to Exeter remained busy throughout the pandemic and has continued to grow. Customers numbers are also over forecast on the Dartmoor Line to Okehampton since it reopened to passengers.
“There is real demand for sustainable, reliable rail travel in Devon, and it is exciting to be able to deliver more improvements. We could not do this without working together with our local authority, industry and business partners and Devon really leads the way for collaborative working. Marsh Barton is a very important next step for the Devon Metro. It will support business and leisure travel and take more cars off Devon’s roads.”
Contracts Director for GRAHAM Civil Engineering, Andrew Henry, added: “We’re pleased with the progress being made at Marsh Barton Station, with the new platforms and pedestrian and cycle bridge moving forward well. This is testament to the relationships forged with Devon County Council and it was great to welcome all project partners to site to see the development.
“Once complete, the new station will provide a key transport link for this part of Exeter, with the dual benefits of reducing road congestion and offering more sustainable travel choices for passengers. These outcomes demonstrate the types of lasting impact we aim to have on all of our projects- connecting communities and building a better future.”
The scheme is being funded by the Department for Transport’s New Stations Fund, Devon County Council, Heart of the South West Local Enterprise Partnership, Exeter City Council, Teignbridge District Council, Network Rail and GWR.
To find out more on the work taking place, please visit https://www.devon.gov.uk/marsh-barton-railway-station/