Mel Stride

    THE CHAIRMAN of the OkeRail Forum, Cllr Mike Davies, has said he was “delighted” with the turnout at a public meeting held today (11/11/16) at Charter Hall on the issue of bringing back a regular passenger rail service between Exeter and Okehampton via Crediton. Among the 250 attendees was Central Devon MP Mel Stride who has supported the campaign for several years, helping to keep the issue firmly on the radar in Westminster by organising ministerial visits to Okehampton and personally lobbying both the former and current Chancellors of the Exchequer. Cllr Davies said:

    “We are very much heading in the right direction with our campaign and the fact that 7,500 journeys were made on our Sunday Rover Service this year between Okehampton and Exeter shows the demand for a regular service. While various organisations including the OkeRail Forum, Destination Okehampton and OkeRail CIC have been making steady progress, the time has come to get the public more involved in the campaign and we used today’s meeting to launch a major consultation on the future of rail services in Okehampton, particularly the plans and costings for a Parkway Station.”

    Mr Stride added:

    “I firmly believe that the overall arguments for the return of a regular passenger rail service have been very convincingly made. What we now need is to do is iron out some of the detail and plan how our goals can be achieved within the next few years. Properly engaging with local people to get their views is the next logical step and I urge residents to respond to the consultation that OkeRail launched today.”

    For more information and to take part in the consultation visit

    Photo: Mel Stride MP, Cllr. Kevin Ball, Michael Ireland and Cllr. Mike Davies at the launch of a consultation on the future of rail services in Okehampton.