On Monday 6 th January, The Alice Cross Centre in Teignmouth was filled beyond capacity, as residents from the local area poured in to hear about the work the committees have been doing regarding Network Rails proposals and how they will affect our coastline and town.
With the room jam packed, and many more trying to get in from the street we apologise to those who couldn’t get in.We will make sure our next meeting venue has enough room for everyone! There is a link to the slides we presented below.
What happened during the meeting?
A brief history
We started with a brief history of our association along with our mission statement.
Network Rail publicity
Images from Network Rail leaflets and publicity were shared, with some people seeing them for the very first time.
After exploring the images and description of the current proposals, we showed the far reaching consequences the new sea wall could have on other local beaches and the entrance to the river and port.
Examples of the destruction of Hallsands and the current erosion being experienced at Dawlish Warren were also shown, both of which are a direct result of the removal of sand from beaches.
Sands and the lifeblood of Teignmouth
The beaches and port are the lifeblood of Teignmouth.
Without sand on our beaches, we stand to lose the income of the thousands of tourists who come here to enjoy our hospitality and stunning natural environment.
Without visitors, how many local businesses will suffer or even fail?
Network Rail have admitted in their own publicity, that the surveys they have carried out have highlighted a scour of the sand on local beaches.Yet they are still moving ahead.
Interfering with the sand and sediment dynamics could lead to the silting up on the river mouth, which is already dredged on a daily basis.If the port is no longer viable, another institution of Teignmouth will be lost, to say nothing of the jobs and revenue it commands.
Alternative plans written by experienced and professional engineers, which would not only protect the railway but also create habitats for new wildlife, were also shown and are also on our website.Possible alternatives included avalanche shelters and a breakwater design, and while some of these alternative ideas would require the railway to be shut temporarily, in the long run, they would not only protect the railway but also the property on the cliffs and the allow us to retain the beaches.
Isn't the new sea wall a done deal?
No, not yet. Network Rail would like you to think so. We want Network Rail to consider alternative plans that retain Brunel’s Sea Wall, preserve the beaches as they are as well running a resilient railway.
Save Teignmouth Beach and Railway explained how they have been working tirelessly to make the population aware of the true nature of Network Rails proposals.
With articles in the Sunday Times and the Daily Mail, coverage on BBC Spotlight and Westcounty News, they have also arranged huge printed banners to be displayed around the town as well as having distributed over 7000 leaflets over Teignmouth and Holcombe.
What you can do to help
Towards the end of the presentation, the residents were signposted to the website, where many ideas on how they can help can be found.
Some of these ideas include attending the consultations, writing to their MP, local counsellors, Network Rail, local press and other statutory bodies as well as completing our survey https://www.savethebeach.co.uk/survey
Copies of the presentation slides from the meeting are now on our website;
We can't do this alone - please do all you can to spread the word and help save your beach.