People are being encouraged to send a message to the new Cabinet Secretary for Transport after a well-attended public meeting in Milngavie last week (25 June) saw Green MSP Ross Greer launch his report calling for the line to Milngavie to be re-dualled.

Ross’ report can be downloaded here: 

The technical report by David Prescott of AllanRail on which it is based is found here: 

Please sign and share the petition to get the line re-dualled here.

Michael Matheson was this week named Cabinet Secretary covering transport, and one of his first challenges will be to choose between applicants for a rail development fund secured by the Green MSPs. One of these applications is from East Dunbartonshire Council for the required survey work which would precede the re-dualling of the line from Westerton to Milngavie, currently the worst performing in Scotland.

The meeting heard Rail Consultant David Prescott reporting on the work he’d been doing to look into the problems caused, and how they can be addressed. His research found, amongst other findings, that:

  • Combined, the three stations on the line (Milngavie, Hillfoot and Bearsden) are as busy as the eleventh busiest station in Scotland (Dundee), yet they are connected to the rest of the network by the only single-track line in Scotland that carries 4 trains each way per hour, the only terminating route in this position.
  • Trains to Milngavie have the worst record in Scotland for punctuality, with nearly three in four arriving into Milngavie over a minute late.
  • The line causes problems for the rail network across the central belt. This is due not only to trains being held up by late-running trains at Westerton Junction, but due to the constraint in timetable caused by needing to time trains exactly to use the single-track sections. The report is clear that the problem is not only a local concern but should be a high priority for the rail network in Scotland.
  • The five worst lines for punctuality in Scotland all have a section of single-track line near the end.
  • Re-dualling the junction at Westerton and the line to Bearsden would have a great benefit and appears to be an easy task compared to most other doublings, and re-dualling the section between Hillfoot and Milngavie would also help the service.
  • A proposed Allander station, between Hillfoot and Milngavie, would need the line to be re-dualled, otherwise there would not be the capacity to add a station anywhere between Milngavie and Westerton. A good example is the line from Aberdeen to Inverurie, which is currently being re-dualled, allowing Kintore Station to be reopened along the line.

After the meeting, Ross Greer, Scottish Greens MSP for the West of Scotland, commented:

“It was brilliant to hear David, a top rail expert with many years experience, explaining how he started work somewhat unconvinced but came to realise that the re-dualling of the line to Milngavie is a vital improvement which needs to be made for the good of our community and the rail network across west and central Scotland.

“I’ve sent the report to the Scottish Government, East Dunbartonshire Council, my elected colleagues, trade unions and others and the initial response has been very positive. Our campaign to redual the line is building momentum. The decision over the rail development fund should be made in the next few weeks, so I’d urge everyone to write to our new Transport Minister Michael Matheson, and to sign my petition at https://greens.scot/milngavieredual

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