Susan Aitken, leader of Glasgow City Council, has given backing in principle to resolving the problem of late and cancelled trains by re-dualling the line to Milngavie and an additional station between Hillfoot and Milngavie.

In response to a recent report by Green MSP for the West of Scotland Ross Greer, Councillor Aitken forwarded a technical response from City Council officers [1] and commented

“[officers] believe that on the face of it this is a proposal which they recognise the merits of. This is caveated by the need to go through the technical process of appraisal and that appraisal leading on to the formulation of a robust business case. Should both happen and show that this proposal does have merit, it is one that we would be willing to support for the benefit of the city region.”

Noting the impact of traffic from Bearsden & Milngavie into Glasgow, and the reduced congestion expected as a result of a new Allander station between Milngavie and Hillfoot, Cllr Aitken quoted council officers as advising:

“Without the station, it is expected that there will be a higher level of car commuting from this development site that would likely be to the detriment of the performance of the Glasgow road network. Therefore we are supportive of the principle of a new station and the associated dualling of the line.”

 

Ross Greer, who is due to meet representatives of Network Rail to discuss the proposals this week, commented:

“It’s great to see the need to re-dual the line gain wider support, including now from the City Council. It is clear that re-dualling our local line will benefit services across Glasgow, West Dunbartonshire, Lanarkshire and as far as Edinburgh and to have the support of the largest local authority in Scotland and the lead authority in our region is very welcome.”

“Milngavie-Westerton is the worst performing line in Scotland, and late trains coming through the junctions at Westerton and Hyndland cause delays and cancellations across the central belt. I’m looking forward to making the case for re-dualling to Network Rail this week.”

 

 

 [1] “Whilst the proposal is out with the City boundary, it is recognised that this proposal could improve reliability of service on this rail route. Improving the performance of this line should further encourage greater patronage, modal shift; Bearsden & Milngavie generating a significant level of car commuting into Glasgow. Rail service performance at Hyndland and Partick stations should also improve, to the benefit of Glasgow residents.

It is noted that East Dunbartonshire Council are seeking to deliver a new station at Allander to serve a new major residential development and this proposal would clearly support its delivery. Without the station, it is expected that there will be a higher level of car commuting from this development site that would likely be to the detriment of the performance of the Glasgow road network. Therefore we are supportive of the principle of a new station and the associated dualling of the line. With respect to the technical report, it is noted that it provides a strong case for dualling the line.

Clearly technical approval and comment on this report is required from Transport Scotland / Network Rail / Scotrail, along with associated input from Strathclyde Partnership for Transport and East Dunbartonshire Council.

A more robust transport appraisal and business case will likely be required to progress this further.”

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