Wednesday, 5 February 2014
Dawlish Fights Back?
Dawlish town councillors have been implicated in a plot to win back media coverage of recent storms by giving waves a helping hand in undermining the railway line through the town. Witnesses report seeing activity on the beach last night during torrential rain but rather than works to protect the shore it appears that a large quantity of shingle was removed from around the foundations of the station platform. BBC television coverage this morning showed part of the station, which is right on the sea front, has been severely damaged. Suspicions have been raised because local politicians have been voicing their unhappiness about BBC bias in the coverage of the recent unprecedented bad weather. In particular the unfair emphasis on Aberystwyth where initial damage to a small Victorian shelter of the promenade was followed by reports on its subsequent repair, of the lifeboat "rescue" of a young photographer who hadn't actually been washed into the sea and the evacuation of students from accommodation on the sea front. Meanwhile the closures at Dawlish of the main Paddington to Penzance line have gone virtually unreported. No council spokesman was available to talk but a local tourist board representative commented that at least a few more people would know where Dawlish was now and she hoped that the railway would be fully up and running in time for the summer season. Whatever the cause of the damage the stakes have been raised in the jostling for attention between these two seaside towns.