This project (like most infrastructure projects today) would be funded by a consortium of interested parties. It’s evident from the NDC Local Plan that there’s going to be substantial development between Barnstaple and Braunton – right alongside the proposed railway. Future developers (residential and commercial) who will benefit from a new railway will be required to contribute through the Community Infrastructre Levy.
Besides developers, major contributions would come from whoever builds and maintains the line (e.g. Amey) and from the train/tram operating company (e.g. Keolis.) Further funds would be justified from DCC and DEFRA/ DfT on environmental/flood resilience grounds. The existing flood defences along the Tarka Trail and South West Coast Path are already deemed insufficient. The TawLink project offers an opportunity to upgrade these defences, whilst providing a flood-proof transport connection between Braunton and Barnstaple (unlike the A361.)
TawLink would obviously form an integral part of the proposed new Barnstaple Park-and-Ride at the A361/A39 junction. As such, it would also qualify for Sustainable Transport funding.