Local residents and visitors to Dawlish can now enjoy new seating and lighting following the completion of the finishing touches to the first section of the new sea wall.
United Kingdom: Network Rail has recently finished the remaining upgrades to the first section of the new sea wall at Dawlish with the installation of new low energy LED lighting and concrete seating along the sea wall.
The new lighting and seating will mean people wishing to walk or travel along the 360m long promenade will now be able to do so both in the day and darker evenings as well as enjoy the views of the sea while relaxing on any of the 14 concrete benches and seating dotted along the promenade.
Construction of this first section of new bigger sea wall – which stretches along Marine Parade west of Dawlish station – started in May 2019 and was completed last July before being officially opened by the Rail Minister a year ago tomorrow (25 September).
Work on the second section of the new sea wall – which is 415m in length and stretches between the Colonnade breakwater west of the station to the Coastguard breakwater east of the station –began last November and is continuing to progress well.
143 concrete wall panels have now been successfully installed and the curved wave returns that sit on top of the wall panels are continuing to be added.
Construction of this £80m government-funded upgrade is expected to be finished by 2023 and once complete will provide greater protection to the railway and town of Dawlish from rising sea levels and extreme weather for generations to come.
The new sea wall at Dawlish is part of Network Rail’s ongoing efforts since 2014 to improve the resilience of the railway between Dawlish and Teignmouth in Devon, known as the South West Rail Resilience Programme (SWRRP).
Ewen Morrison, Network Rail senior programme manager for the Dawlish sea wall project, said: “It’s pleasing to see the remaining finishing touches to the first section of sea wall have now been completed.
“The lighting will undoubtedly brighten up the promenade and enable people to safely use the sea wall in the evening, particularly as the darker winter nights fast approach.
“Every time I’m in Dawlish I’m struck by the stunning views of the English Channel and I’m delighted residents and visitors to Dawlish will be able to enjoy these views with an ice cream or cup of coffee while relaxing on this new seating.”
Anne Marie Morris, MP for Newton Abbot, commented: “It was great to recently meet with Simon from Network Rail to discuss and see first-hand the excellent progress on the new sea wall at Dawlish. The latest improvements offering new lighting and seating are a great addition that will help local residents and visitors to continue to enjoy this beautiful stretch of coastline.
“The rail resilience works are so important to protecting Dawlish and our vital railway line from the sea for decades to come, and I warmly welcome the tens of millions of pounds of government investment into our area that this project represents.”