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The train journey from Exeter to London's Waterloo
Hong Kong company MTR and First Group have won
the franchise for South West trains and take over in August.
They're set to invest ?1.2 billion across the network.
The Waterloo line is picturesque but slow.
The news of this investment, with 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 that 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 give more options for people to travel
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 was 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, or 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,
leading some to raise concerns about a lack of competition.
The new service will begin 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
While passengers in Devon and the east of the region might
welcome today's rail announcement, there's little, if any benefit
for those travelling by train from Cornwall.
Passengers in the county have been promised faster journey times
on the mainline to Paddington, but that's still some time off.
John Ayres has been 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
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 up to London and one on the way
That will open up Cornwall to business 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
NHS managers in Devon involved in controversial proposed cuts
to the health service are being subjected to unacceptable
levels of abuse, according to one local health commisioning group.
Whilst there's no suggestion of any wrongdoing, the new Devon CCG claims
senior staff have been verbally abused at some public
meetings and in the street, and says some online comments use
language that is physically threatening.
We are seeing online postings of threatening and abusive behaviour,
staff are experiencing abusive and threatening behaviour at public
meetings and much more worryingly, staff are being verbally abused when
they are going about their business, when they are not on work time and
that is wholly inappropriate. Now a brief roundup of other stories
making the news tonight. 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 Winchester Crown 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. They're famous for building dams
and now it's claimed beavers could be the answer
to our flooding problems. A six-year trial at a secret
location in Devon has Our environment correspondent
Adrian Campbell has been 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 This is one of 13 dams along a 200
metre stretch of this watercourse and you can see there is evidence
of recent activity When you look closely you can
see how big and deep Researchers 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 areas of blue are new pools which all slow down
the flow of water. You can see the dam that runs
along the face there. Mark Elliott says this project has
shown how beavers can provide When water surges at the top
of a site during a flood, those ponds and the dams hold
the water back and it comes out 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 parts of the catchment, The University of Exeter's
data shows flooding can 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. Time to take a look at the weather.
We have had some gorgeous weather, David. We have had temperatures
today, 16, 17 degrees. Will that last? Probably, but not necessarily
dry with sunshine. A change perhaps to more unsettled weather and we are
expecting to see some showers tomorrow. Some sunny spells during
the course of the week and right at the end, it turns colder. One
weather front coming in by the end of the night. It will produce a
fuchsia was. It brushes past us on its way northwards. What follows is
more persistent rain which will be around tomorrow evening and
Wednesday. Thursday we draw up some warmth from Spain and Portugal so
temperatures slightly higher by Thursday. Higher temperatures
through western France crossing the Channel towards us and we could be
up to 16, 17 degrees. A weather front will move through on Friday
introducing colder air. It is not particularly warm tonight.
Temperatures not as low as last night but certainly five or 6
degrees in a few places. Showers will trick trickle across northern
parts of Devon into South Wales and what replaces that is brighter skies
for a time. 14, 15 the top temperature. More persistent rain to
end the day. The same weather system will be with us on Wednesday, so
they could be a rather cloudy day with patchy rain around. Some warmth
and brighter weather on Thursday and then that fresher, cold air arriving
by the end of the week. Have a good night. The breakfast bulletins
stopped just before 6:30am tomorrow morning. Goodbye.
showery on Saturday, dry and brighter on Sunday and if we go back
to the temperatures in the next couple days, you see those highs on
Thursday. He is John Hammond with the national
this cyclone Debbie crashes onto the Queensland coast with