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A billion pound investment to shave 15 minutes off rail journeys.
But tonight, there are questions over where that money
We have the inside track on which part of the line will benefit.
Also tonight: the threats and abuse aimed at health officials overseeing
Staff are being verbally abused when they are going about their business
on the street, when they are not on work time and I think that is wholly
inappropriate. how these beavers could provide
the answer to cost-effective And counting a host
of golden daffodils - work gets under way to record
the number of varieties It's always been the slow train
coming, but today came the news that journeys from Exeter
to London's Waterloo The new operators of
the South West Trains route are set to invest ?1.2 billion
across the network. The Waterloo journey currently takes
just over three and a quarter hours. It's slower than the more popular
Exeter to Paddington route, because most of the line is single
track and high-speed but in future it could be up
to 15 minutes quicker. That news has been applauded
by passengers, but some rail campaigners say there's no real
new investment for the region and rail users west of Exeter
will feel no benefit at all. We'll have reaction
from Cornwall in a moment, The Waterloo line is
picturesque but slow. The news of this investment,
with the new and more frequent trains cutting journey times
from the south-west to London by up to 15 minutes,
has been welcomed by passengers. It would mean we could get up
there quicker to go to the theatre, which is what we like to do,
go there with the children at It would be excellent to get more
options for people to travel I think better trains are required
because they can be a little bit grubby sometimes and more
reliability, obviously if you've got plans in London,
you can obviously fulfil them It's a long journey and there's
a lot of stops there, which leaves us all out
in the sticks a little bit and I believe, obviously,
a direct train between Exeter and London that is a lot faster
would be useful for people. Importantly, the Waterloo line
is less vulnerable to flooding. It doesn't travel through
the Cowley Bridge junction, north of Exeter, nor
the Somerset Levels, both But there is no news of investment
at Dawlish where the line has repeatedly been cut by storms
or further in to Devon and Cornwall. We need to have a second reliable,
resilient rail network here in the south-west and whilst
this is definitely a positive move, it is not something we should
be taking focus of. We need to continue with the efforts
of the south-west campaign, the peninsular task force and keep
very much the government's feet The new franchise for the Waterloo
line has been won by First Group. They also run trains
on the Paddington line, leaving some to raise concerns
about a lack of competition. The new service will be operating
from here to Waterloo in August. In the next few months,
the government are due to announce their proposals
regarding what to do Interesting and important
times are ahead for Well, the announcement today might
be good news for passengers in Devon and the east of the region,
but there's little if any benefit for those travelling
by train from Cornwall. Passengers in the county have been
promised faster journey times to the capital on the mainline
to Paddington, but that's Spotlight's John Ayres has been
in Cornwall gauging reaction. Rail passengers here,
like fare payers right across the country, want to feel
like they are being treated equally. Here in Penzance, it can feel
like the nation's capital is a very, Any rail investment will be welcomed
by passengers, but Cornwall Penzance via Exeter
via Tiverton Parkway and up to Paddington is definitely
the route that needs Let's hope they are able to find
funds to do this part I suppose if that part becomes very
fast, I would probably go to Exeter It is much more economical
and better for me to go The problem with rail travel
in Cornwall is how long it It is about 180 miles
from London Paddington to Exeter. The fastest train does
it in just two hours, that's an average speed of 90 mph,
but then from Exeter to Penzance it's 120 miles
and that takes three hours, so the average speed
has more than halved. What we need to do is get
a time in the morning where a train goes from Truro,
St Austell, Exeter and on to London, that will stop all those stops,
so a real commuter line if you like, for business people travelling
to London and one on the way That will open up Cornwall
to businesses in the The investment this time is private
money from the franchise operators. The Transport Minister,
Paul Maynard, says this announcement is about the South Western trains
franchise and rail passengers in Cornwall will see improvements
to rolling stock by the end Well, Andrew Roden is a rail expert
and author and is live I have been taking a look through
the announcement. There is a lot of talk of improvements east but what
sort of impact will this have on passages in our bit of the
Southwest? I guess passengers from Poole and Weymouth will not object
to faster journeys to London, but on the west, it looks like it is
refurbished rolling stock, free Wi-Fi, it does look thin. What about
this issue of first group now being involved in the mainline franchise
and the South West trains franchise? What are the implications from that?
It is not clear. It may be the competition in markets authority
takes an interest but the key competition is not between Great
Western Railway and South West trains, it is much more about
competition between railways the car and there. There has been talk of
?1.2 billion of investment today. How much of that do you think we are
likely to see in the bit from Exeter up? I suspect very little. The
reality is the vast majority of passengers travel into London from
much closer, so that is where you spend the money, but the Southwest
receives little transport money, joint lowest in England and the
question must be asked, when are we going to get our fair share? If this
is the statement, we may have some problems in the Southwest in years
to come. You are in Cornwall tonight and we have had the concerns from
passages that they do not benefit from this. When can passengers in
Cornwall expect to see the much promised faster journey time is up
from Penzance to the capital on the mainline? I guess it may be the case
that when the new hybrid diesel electric trains coming from next
year we might see some journey times then, but the reality is unless you
want to spend billions, shortening journey times between Cornwall and
London will cost a fortune and the money is not there. In the real
world, journey times for state, four, five hours from London to
Penzance with little improvement is any time soon. Thank you very much
for joining us. Now a brief roundup of other stories
making the news in the South West. The case of a young mother,
who was killed by a speeding driver in a head-on crash near Bodmin,
was heard at Truro Sabrina Bellman, who was on holiday
from Hampshire, was on her way home from a Christmas pantomime
with her family when 31-year-old Daniel Smith, from St Teath,
hit them on Boxing Day in 2015. He's admitted causing death
by careless driving, The trial began today of a Plymouth
soldier accused of stabbing 26-year-old Jay Nava
of the Royal Citadel is charged with murdering 26-year-old
Natasha Wake in The court heard Natasha was stabbed
after she discovered he was being investigated
for a sexual offence. Four small banks in Devon
are closing this week, because they say they're getting
fewer customers through the door Lloyds is shutting its branches
in Dartmouth, Salcombe, It's starting a new mobile service
in the areas affected. Work starts tonight on a ?250,000
scheme to install average speed cameras on the A38 and A380
at Splatford Split, near Exeter. Highways England says the cameras
along a two and a half mile stretch of the eastbound carriageway
will improve safety. Cornwall had a record year
for tourists last year, according to a report out today,
with Tintagel Castle among the UK attractions
with the biggest rise in visitors. The Association of Leading Visitor
Attractions says the castle had nearly 230,000 visits,
that's a rise of 19 %. "Unacceptable abuse",
that's what NHS managers in Devon, involved in controversial proposed
cuts to health services, are facing, according to one local health
commissioning group. The New Devon CCG claims senior
staff are being verbally abused at public meetings and in the street
and that some online comments use language
that is physically threatening. There is no doubt people
feel strongly about In North Devon, even
the clergy are speaking out. But it has been claimed that passion
and opinion in some circumstances We are seeing online
postings of threatening Staff are experiencing abuse
and threatening behaviour in public meetings and much more worrying
really, staff are being verbally abused when they are going
about their business, in the street, when they are not
on work time and I think At the end of this meeting,
local NHS chief executive Alison Diamond had to be escorted
out of the building by the police. There is no suggestion people
shown here were abusive. But there is also concern about some
online comments with social media posts like this one that show
individual members of NHS management under the headline,
"Not wanted by the public." One comment on the same site says
an NHS manager has "a face One campaigner from
Save Our Hospital Services says We would abhor any sort of violence
or threats to other human beings. We have many visitors
to our page, 11,000 in all. We cannot be responsible for those
people who want to put on things perhaps many of us,
most of us would not approve of. No crimes have been reported,
but the CCG says it is getting advice from police about what to do
if things get worse. Beavers could be the answer
to our flooding problems. It's one solution based on fact
thanks to a six-year secret trial in Devon which has proved
the animals' natural It could save millions of pounds
on other high-tech solutions, and as Adrian Campbell reports,
in a region which has suffered its fair share
of flooding over the years, the results make for
interesting conclusions. The return of beavers
to the River Otter in East Devon has But in another part of Devon,
at a secret location sealed off by electric fencing,
another group of beavers The results of their hard work over
the past six years can There has been a dramatic change
in the landscape where they have been living and working,
with the creation of a network This is one of 13 dams along a 200
metre stretch of this watercourse and you can see there is evidence of
recent activity here by the beavers. When you look closely you can see
how big and deep V stands are becoming. Research is from the
University of Exeter have been monitoring the way the beavers have
changed the watercourse. The black lines represent the new dams and the
area of blue our new pools. You can see that damn that runs along the
face there. Mark Elliott says this project has shown how beavers can
provide cost-effective flood defences. When water surges in
during a flood, those palms and the dams hold the water back and it
comes back here much slower as the dams are slowing the flow of flood
water. It can only help to reduce the speed of flood water coming down
into the communities that live in the lower part of the catchment. The
University of Exeter's data shows flooding can be slowed by beavers.
The chopping down of trees and building of dams seems to work.
Conservationists are keen to persuade politicians that areas of
flooding might benefit from this type of natural engineering.
David's here with the weather later and he's making the most
Not that way, this way. We find out about the exciting future of
bounty's and. And join me as we try to identify how many types of
daffodils there are on the tame are badly.
It's time for the sport now - and there was a lot
Just three wins from their last seven games is all Plymouth Argyle
need to guarantee promotion from League Two.
Victory over league leaders Doncaster has also thrown the title
Exeter City are one of the teams in the chasing pack
and they produced an incredible late comeback in the South West
derby with Yeovil, as Andy Birkett reports.
The childhood friendship between Darren Ferguson
and Derek Adams was put on hold when their teams met on Sunday,
and the home side being denied an early penalty did nothing
to improve the atmosphere in the dugout.
Then it was down to skipper Luke McCormick to keep denying them.
First, a reaction save from close range.
Then more of a team effort to clear this shot off the line.
It's not the number of chances you create that people remember.
It's the number of chances you take and Argyle took theirs.
Sonny Bradley left unmarked at the back post and his bullet
There was some more nervy moments, but the defence held firm.
The only thing to hit the back of the Argyle
The win narrows the gap at the top to three points,
but more importantly it means the gap between them
You've got to be a bit careful about ccelebrating too early.
As Yeovil found out at St James Park.
It took an hour for this match to come alive and before
the Glovers move it, they were two up.
You could be forgiven for thinking it was all over.
However, on the stroke of full-time the unthinkable happened.
In just 238 seconds, Exeter scored three goals.
It probably took radio Devon's Alan Richardson a little bit
longer to get his heart rate back down.
The shot has latched onto the post and into the back of the net
and City do get one back very late on.
They've committed everybody forward for this corner.
And it's a header and City has another one!
It is Exeter City's 3, Yeovil Town 3.
That result has kept Exeter City in the last of the play-off
Who knows how important that point might be at the end of the season.
The Exeter Chiefs staged a decent comeback to beat
The win boosts their hopes of securing a home semifinal
Despite an early Kai Horstmann try, the Chiefs found themselves 14
Then Luke Cowan-Dickie, Olly Woodburn and Don Armand crossed
Conditions at Sandy Park were blustery and played their part.
For a while, Exeter were level on points with leaders Wasps,
but are still in second place after Wasps won yesterday.
There are four games left, so their destiny
And all our other rugby sides won too, so well done
to The Cornish Pirates, Jersey and Plymouth Albion.
The Plymouth Raiders came out on top of a game that has huge implications
They brought south-west rivals Bristol Flyers down to earth
They needed to bounce back from last weekend's trophy final defeat
and did it in style in front of a home crowd at the Pavilions.
A win for Bristol would have put the two teams level in the league,
but it's the Raiders who pull away from their rivals with the important
Getting to the business end of everyone's season now -
All to play for. Exactly. I hope Alan Richardson is resting his
voice! Now, you may remember a while ago
we spoke with international professional sailor Conrad Humphreys
about his epic 4,000 mile He had been part of the TV series
Mutiny, which recreated the conditions of Captain Bligh's
crew as they were Now, as the series comes to an end,
Johnny Rutherford has been discovering what the replica boat,
now belonging to Conrad, More to starboard. Are you sure?
Come on. When are you going to let me have it out on the water? Who
survived in this? It is remarkable when you stand here and think, seven
metres long, nine of us, a metre of space each, this is what we lived on
for 60 days. And the rough sea conditions matched Captain Bligh's
journey. Nine men crammed into this boat as part of a reality TV series.
Conrad Humphreys now owns the vessel. Get in and have a sleep.
This is where I would have been sleeping. Pull yourself in. You lie
down like that, feet that end. And there were certainly plenty of
waves. Surviving on the same small rations as Captain Bligh's crew,
Conrad and his team struggled. The hardest thing was dehydration. Paul
the barn out. We planned on two litres a day but by the end we were
down to half a litre a day. You survived but what are you going to
do with the boat? IM with the bounty project and the idea is to put it
back on the water with young, disadvantaged and disabled children.
A chance to experience a little bit of Captain Bligh magic. You can also
go off and visit schools. That includes talks this week at Exeter
and Plymouth universities. From the South Pacific to the seas of the
Southwest. Now, do you know the difference
between your paperwhites, Well, they're all different types
of daffodils and a group of volunteers in the Tamar Valley
have been taught how It's all part of the Heralds
of Spring project and as Heidi Davey's been finding
out, the group have been using their new skills to record
the different varieties. There are thousands of different
types of daffodils, but trying to find out what thrives where,
that is the tricky bit. Thanks to funding from
the Heritage Lottery, a survey is now underway
in the Tamar Valley to look People don't necessarily need
to know what they are. As long as we can photograph them
and we can get the measurements and the total colours
and everything, then we can go to a local expert who has more
of an idea of what they all are. We were saying earlier that these
could date back 30-odd years, We have one local landowner
who thinks there are over 60 varieties on his land and,
of course, they were grubbed up And for the volunteers,
it has been back to the classroom to learn how they can help preserve
this area of outstanding I wanted to find out more
about them and particularly We are trying to find older ones,
so bit by bit, we're learning which are the modern-looking ones,
which are the older-looking ones. That particularly has
a lovely long trumpet. And the petals as well,
the way they are starred. It is those beautiful
characteristics that make daffodils just so popular over the centuries,
summed up best, of course, "I wandered lonely as a cloud, that
floats on high over vales and hills, "when all at once I saw a crowd,
a host of golden daffodils." Gorgeous! Beautiful! A real sign of
spring. Because it does feel like spring, we thought we would elevate
David to the roof of the studios. Good evening. You are not seeing me
right now because we thought we would show you the view out towards
Plymouth. It is a bit bracing up here, there is a cold wind from the
East but the sunshine has been glorious today and we have had
temperatures of 16, 17 degrees. This is from one side of Plymouth Sound.
This is from the other leg and we have had some lovely sunshine today.
That sunshine is pretty hazy, there has been quite thick haze right
across the Southwest and there is a fair amount of medium and high level
cloud coming into night but for many of us, a lovely end to the day. The
forecast for the next couple of days is to see a bit of a change. These
were the scenes from earlier today, down in Cornwall where we had some
Boreas sunshine. Some lovely sunshine across other parts of
Cornwall, into Devon. The sunshine continues to be pretty good for the
last hour before the sun sets, but overnight tonight we will see more
cloud coming up from the south and the sunshine is bringing out the
flowers. This week it is unsettled. There will be some showers dotted
around and towards the end of the week, it will turn colder. The veil
of cloud that is approaching from the West, it is a long way off and
it will get closer through the night to come, introducing more cloud. A
week weather front will drift past us, a few showers associated with
that, right conditions in the afternoon tomorrow but by Wednesday
and Thursday, more unsettled conditions. Winds from the Southwest
and the chance of outbreaks of rain. Until the cold front goes through on
Friday, some warmth still with us as well. You can see most of us have
been unbroken sunshine today and that continues this evening and
through the night to come, until the end of the night when more cloud
will arrive in the West and that might be capable of producing a few
showers. Overnight temperatures of five or 6 degrees across parts of
Somerset and Dorset, most of us holding up at 7 degrees. A few
showers in the morning but brighter tomorrow afternoon. Temperatures up
to 15, 16 degrees. For the Isles of Scilly, there is thick cloud capable
of producing a few spots of rain especially during the latter part of
the day. There are our times of high water. Those times are in British
summer Time and for our surface, the north coast will be rather choppy.
We are seeing some choppy sea conditions developing and the winds
increase and they could be well backed up to a force five or six.
Some warmth still until we get to the end of the week when we start to
see a few showers, especially on Friday and into Saturday. From the
roof here, back to that one studio. Thank you, David. It looks very nice
there. Nice to end the programme with lighter evenings. From all of
us here, good night.