Transport secretary Chris Grayling has announced an £80M fund for work on the seawall by the rail line in Dawlish today five years on from the collapse of the structure following a storm.
The plans, developed in partnership with Arup, for a new, higher sea wall at Dawlish were submitted to the council, targeted at providing greater resilience for the rail line.
Grayling said: ”We cannot allow the disruption and damage endured by Dawlish and the south-west to happen again. This significant investment demonstrates our cast-iron commitment to delivering a resilient and safe railway, giving passengers, businesses and residents confidence in a reliable service.
”With up to £80M of funding available to create a rigorous set of defences, this new sea wall will help protect this vital route, building on our ambitious plans to grow this region’s economy and prosperity through stronger transport connections.”
The new investment will allow work to raise the seawall by 2.5m to protect the rail line and could get underway this spring.
Nonetheless, Network Rail has said that more than £300M needs to be invested to make the line fully robust against future storms, including protection for the landslip-prone cliffs west of Dawlish.