Liberal Democrat Councillors cautious about Conservative ‘promises’ for Cullompton station investment 

6 Oct 2023
Cllr Lloyd Knight (Cullompton Padbrook Ward), Cllr Sue Robinson (Cullompton Padbrook Ward), Richard Foord (Member of Parliament for Tiverton and Honiton), Cllr Emma Buczkowksi (Cullompton St Andrews Ward) at the site of the new railway station.


“I give a cautious welcome to the news that the Government has approved the investment for a new railway station at Cullompton,” said Liberal Democrat Councillor Steve Keable, Mid Devon Cabinet portfolio holder for Planning and Economic Regeneration. “The timescale for delivery of the station in 2025 is ambitious and this promise now needs to be turned into delivery.” 

“As a local Councillor I want to congratulate the many people who put in years of work to get to this point. It has been a real community effort,” commented James Buczkowksi, councillor for Cullompton St Andrews. “The Government now needs to deliver. For too many years successive Conservative governments have ignored Cullompton’s essential infrastructure. The town has seen house building and expansion on a huge scale. Despite calls from local residents, and councillors, funding for the necessary infrastructure has not been forthcoming. This has had a negative impact on local people, many of whom have expressed the view that developer profit has been prioritised over local community need. This is a small step forward but more needs to be done before the commencement of the Culm Garden Village and phase 2 of the north-west extension.” 

“For years investment in the South West’s transport infrastructure has lagged behind other areas of the country. At times it really has felt like we were being ignored. This looks suspiciously like something that has already been announced but it is a step forward, and very significant for Cullompton, and so I welcome it,” said Mid Devon Council leader Luke Taylor. “Of course, this Conservative Government does have something of a record of trotting out headline grabbing announcements when it has a crisis, which it certainly does with the cancellation of HS2. So, we will need to be focussed on ensuring they do actually deliver this, and it doesn’t end up as another cancelled or delayed project, such as the often promised and not delivered rebuild for Tiverton High School. We are too familiar in Devon with Conservative broken promises.” 

“This is an important part of the plan to improve Cullompton and to facilitate the building of the Culm Garden Village. But it is insufficient in itself,” commented Steve Keable. “The station will need improved access to the M5 and a relief road is desperately needed if the planned development is not to end up flooding Cullompton Town Centre with cars. We look forward to further commitments to, and real action by, this Conservative Government in delivering the infrastructure needed to make the Culm Garden Village a success. We cannot just build houses and not provide the infrastructure a much-expanded local population needs.” 

“Today is a day for cautious optimism,” said Councillor Sue Robinson, Cullompton Padbrook. “At the same time, we should look to the future and see what sort of rail service will run to and from the new station. A few trains each day is not really a transport plan. We need an affordable, frequent service that delivers connections for residents across the whole day.” 

“This new rail service could be a real step forward,” commented Councillor Natasha Bradshaw, Mid Devon Cabinet climate change portfolio holder. “In our rural communities we are heavily dependent upon our cars, which add significantly to CO2 emissions and pollution. Efficient and cheap rail has a key role to play in helping us reach net-zero, by helping us make fewer car journeys.” 

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