Region has its say on the future of rail
Cllr Lesley Laird, Fife Council’s Depute Leader and Spokesperson for Economy and Planning, has written and expressed her thanks to Transport Scotland for holding a consultation event on Scotland’s Rail Infrastructure Strategy in Fife.
Rail stakeholders and the public were given the opportunity to have their say on future rail prioritisation at a workshop on Monday 6 February, hosted by Transport Scotland to gauge views on the future of rail.
Cllr Laird said “We felt it was important to ensure that Fife had the opportunity to host this important event, and we were delighted that Transport Scotland agreed to host an additional session in Fife. Fife Council has campaigned strongly on the rail agenda for Fife over recent years, whether for investment projects or on the issue of rail fares.”
Fife Council has actively backed the campaign to reopen the Levenmouth Rail Link as part of the next round of rail investment projects, due to begin in 2019.
“We have a number of rail projects in Fife that merit serious consideration when looking at the future investment strategy of the Scottish Government. We are actively working with local communities to make sure that these projects are always on the agenda when we get the chance. It was therefore great to see attendees from across Fife’s communities at the event making the case for Levenmouth, and also a station stop at Newburgh.”
Cllr John Wincott, Spokesperson for Transportation and Environment, said: “Our typical experience the rail investment process is that it is not always open or transparent. This event gave us the opportunity to highlight our concerns, but also to offer constructive suggestions to improve it.”
“Fife Council is also jointly funding the pre-STAG (Scottish Transport Appraisal Guidance) for the Dunfermline /Alloa line, so there is a big commitment by the Council to get rail investment into Fife.
“We also took the opportunity to make the point that, at the moment, there appears to be more transparency about how a zebra crossing is selected than how rail projects are funded.
“For example, Fife Council has spent considerable time and resource on various STAG processes without any clear indication of why applications proceed or not. This is the third STAG that Fife Council has funded for Levenmouth – so let’s hope that it is third time lucky.”
Cllr Laird added: “We received very positive feedback from the Transport Scotland representatives about the quality of event contributions and the constructive suggestions that Fife has made as to how future rail investment projects can be dealt with.
“We certainly believe that the Levenmouth Rail Link, which has all political party support, must rank as the number one contender for rail investment, given it’s payback in terms of inclusive growth, addressing poverty and widening access and opportunity.”