Fresh collapse fears for Dawlish railway sea wall

Dawlish sea wall
Image caption David Morris put a 12in ruler into the sea wall at Dawlish

Cracks in a sea wall previously destroyed by high tides have prompted concerns it could collapse again.

A section of wall protecting railway track in Dawlish, Devon, collapsed last year, meaning trains could not pass.

Resident David Morris said he has now found 12in (30cm) gaps in the wall further along the line.

Network Rail said the wall, which costs £800,000 a year to maintain, was constantly monitored and repairs would be carried out by the end of the month.

Mr Morris said: "All it takes is a bloke with a bucket of cement to go and fill in the holes. With these holes there is always the danger the sea will get in."

Image caption Network Rail spends £800,000 a year on maintaining the Dawlish sea wall

'Being neglected'

Lynn Blackmore used to live on the seafront in Dawlish but moved to nearby Teignmouth three years ago because of the noise and vibrations from the sea hitting the wall.

She said: "There are parts that are being neglected and the same thing is going to happen again."

Mike Gallop from Network Rail said the breach of the wall in 2014 was due to the "sheer volume of water landing on the track" rather than a "lack of mortar".

He said Network Rail spent from £600,000 to £800,000 every year on maintenance to keep the track in "tip-top" condition.

The firm is looking at creating a new inland route as a back-up to the Dawlish line.

Image caption A section of the wall at Dawlish was destroyed in the 2014 storms

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