Network Rail joined forces with stakeholders, train operators and members of the community to officially open the new footbridge with lifts at Dawlish station. 

The bridge was completed in late 2023 as part of the Dawlish sea wall project, making the station fully-accessible for the first time in its 178-year history. 

MP for Newton Abbot Anne Marie Morris cut a ribbon to mark the occasion, which was attended by representatives of GWR, CrossCountry Trains, Devon County Council, Teignbridge District Council, Dawlish Town Council and the Friends of Dawlish station. 

Also present were members of the Network Rail team behind the project, alongside representatives of contractor Bam Nuttall, who built the bridge. Made up of 42 pre-cast concrete units, the structure is protected from the elements on the seaward side by a 1m-thick shield wall. 

To make the station even more accessible, Network Rail has also improved the stepping distance between the platforms and trains, while reconstructing the seaward platform. 

Today’s event also gave attendees the opportunity to see progress on work by Network Rail’s contractor Sisk to bring a waiting room on the seaward platform back into use. It is expected to be open by Easter.  

Network Rail’s industry programme director Bogdan Lupu said: “The new footbridge benefits all passengers, especially those with limited mobility, carrying heavy luggage or with pushchairs. Together with the plans to reopen the waiting room, it is a real boost for the station ahead of the Easter holidays when Dawlish will see an influx of visitors by rail.

Anne Marie Morris, MP for Newton Abbot, who performed the ribbon cutting opening ceremony, said: "Making Dawlish station fully accessible is just as important as ensuring that railway line is weather resilient. The new footbridge and lifts are incredibly important developments to ensure as many people can come and visit our amazing coastal line – perfectly timed for Easter! 

“Today is about giving back to the community in Dawlish who have been brilliantly patient, as Network Rail have sought to make the track and station resilient for the future."