Work is under way on the second phase of the new sea wall following the opening of the first phase, which I was happy to open in person in September—one of the few visits that I have been able to make in the last year.
This region is still talking about the Minister’s visit to Dawlish. He will know the importance of the rail link from Plymouth to Paddington, and the disruption that we have suffered in the past. The region is very grateful for the work that has been carried out in recent years, but can he assure me today that the next phase of work at Dawlish, to secure the cliff face from crumbling on to the track, will not be delayed or compromised, in order to ensure that essential rail services can continue along this iconic part of the journey?
I thank my hon. Friend; I am sure that the ticker tape and dried rose petals are still being cleared. I am happy to assure him that we remain committed to improving the resilience of this vital transport artery. Network Rail is continuing to develop proposals for further phases of the resilience programme, using £17.2 million of Government funding that has already been given.