Plymouth MP calls for rail link to be protected from flood
URGENT action is under way to defend the Westcountry rail link from future flooding, says city MP Gary Streeter.
Mr Streeter, the MP for South West Devon, yesterday met Patrick McLoughlin, the Secretary of State for Transport, to discuss the disruption to the rail link between London Paddington and the far South West.
"We discussed the problem in detail including the notorious pinch points at Cowley Bridge and the coastal section," Mr Streeter said.
"The minister has already held talks with Network Rail to ensure that rapid infrastructure solutions are found to better defend the vital rail link against future flooding events."
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"I was delighted that urgent action is already under way and that the Secretary of State was aware of how crucial the rail link was to the South West.
"He has promised to treat this as an urgent priority and ensure that appropriate action follows."
Mr Streeter said the Secretary of State promised to call a meeting of Westcountry MPs soon.
"I was pleased to find that he had already been fully briefed by his officials and was aware of the unacceptable disconnection between Devon and Cornwall and the rest of the country."
Mr Streeter said that tackling the urgent flooding issues affecting his constituency: protecting the rail link, getting better flood defences in place for the most high-risk communities and tackling the threat to future insurance were his highest political priorities for 2013.
"The extreme weather looks like it is here to stay for a while," he said. "We have got to defend ourselves more effectively against its worst ravages. We cannot allow our region to be cut off again."