Devon's fast growing "regional capital" is set for two new railway stations as officials announce plans to secure £6 million funding to ease traffic misery.
A scheme to build a new station to serve Exeter's satellite new town Cranbrook is already under way after the Government promised £20 million to fast-track a development of more than 6,000 homes.
Now the city is set for two station stops on commuter lines in a bid to ease the gridlock which grips the small centre at rush hour each day. Newcourt station will add a stop on the Avocet line to Exmouth and the Marsh Barton stop will allow passengers on the coastal mainline from Exeter out to Dawlish to alight at the trading and industrial estate.
Preliminary estimated costs, subject to the final designs, are expected to be in the region of £2 million for the station at Newcourt, and £4 million for Marsh Barton stop.
Devon County Council approved layout plans for the schemes yesterday.
Outline designs and planning permission will be followed by bids for grant funding.
Devon County Council's cabinet member for highways and transportation, Stuart Hughes, said: "Economic assessment has shown that the proposed new stations would be good value for money, providing travel time benefits for rail users who would be able to avoid traffic congestion on surrounding roads.
"There are few counties in the country making such major steps with the rail network."
The £2 million Newcourt station will be built near Liberty Way, close to new housing estates around the Exeter Golf and Country Club, in the east of the city, near the M5.
A single 124m platform, suitable for longer trains, is proposed along with a shelter and ticket machine.
The station at Marsh Barton will be centrally located within the trading estate, near the rail bridge off Alphin Brook Road.
Two 124m platforms will be linked by a footbridge with a lift, and shelters, ticket machines and a customer information system are also planned.
Both stations will include secure cycle facilities and CCTV security systems.
Proposals have been positively received by the Devon and Exeter Rail Working Party and are supported by First Great Western and Network Rail, the Rail Users Group and the Devon and Cornwall Rail Partnership.
Councillor Vanessa Newcombe, councillor for Alphington and Cowick, said planning applications will be considered by the development management committee in the New Year.