27/03/2017 Spotlight


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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


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