WDBC applies for Government-backed funding to build West Devon Transport Hub

The site of the platform at the proposed new Okehampton Parkway Station

Working in partnership with Devon County Council (DCC), Network Rail and GWR, a bid for £12m has now been submitted by West Devon Borough Council (WDBC) to the Government’s Levelling Up Fund for an all-embracing West Devon Transport Hub in Okehampton.

The Government’s £4.8 billion Levelling Up Fund was announced at the 2020 Spending Review to support communities in order to regenerate town centres, enable investment in cultural facilities or upgrade local transport infrastructure
on the proviso that schemes are delivered by March, 2024.

Applications will be considered over the summer with an announcement expected in autumn.

The hub, incorporating the much-heralded Okehampton Parkway Railway Station, will be sited at the Hameldown Business Park near the A30 junction at Stockley Hamlet to the east of Okehampton Town centre.

The Transport Hub will provide a station entrance, two platforms connected by a bridge and serviced by a passenger lift.

Onward journeys will be provided locally on bike and by foot, on public transport via a bus interchange on Hameldown Road and by car from the surface level car park equipped with electric vehicle (EV) charging points. The construction and delivery of Parkway Station itself will be the responsibility of Network Rail while the highway and bus infrastructure is the responsibility of the Highway Authority (Devon County Council) with the car park also falling under the auspices of DCC as they already own the land.

As a result of the Okehampton to Exeter railway line’s planned re-opening at the end of this year, the need and urgency for the West Devon Transport Hub in Okehampton has now increased and will improve the economic prosperity of the region. It would also see congestion reduced on Station Road in Okehampton (the main route to the town’s existing railway station), but crucially maximise connectivity for the region through convenient multi vehicular access to the railway line in close proximity to the A30.

The WDBC bid has been supported by Mel Stride MP, as well as Okehampton Town Council, together with the areas of Torridge, North Devon and Cornwall.

Author: Eric Partridge

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