Ten communities first to benefit from Green rail fund
Ten communities will be the first to benefit from a new rail fund set up by the Scottish Greens during negotiations with government over the most recent Scottish budget.
The Local Rail Development Fund is worth £2million this year and was set up by the Greens in an effort to help community groups progress proposals for reopening stations and lines and creating new connections.
Today's first round of funding will benefit communities including Haddington in East Lothian, Linlithgow in West Lothian, Insch in Aberdeenshire and Newburgh and St Andrews in Fife.
Mark Ruskell, Environment spokesperson for the Scottish Greens and MSP for Mid Scotland & Fife, said:
“Today’s announcement shows our Green budget win in action, helping communities across Scotland take the first step to getting back on the rail map after years of isolation. We listened to communities who had the vision and drive to re-open rail stations, but needed the support from government to build the case further.
"Re-opening rail stations takes time, but today’s announcement is the first step in a rail revolution that will lead to a positive legacy for generations to come. Expanding the rail network is vital if we are to deliver a green and clean transport system for the future, but it can also be a big driver to economically regenerate communities.
"We expect many more communities will benefit from the second round of the fund later this year. £2m was allocated as part of the budget deal for this year with the Greens so there is a lot further to go.”
“I’m delighted that both Newburgh and St Andrews rail campaigns have directly benefited from the fund. Both have developed compelling cases to reopen stations that would be a huge boost to their communities. The funds will enable them to develop strong business cases to move forward to the next step.”
The successful applicants and the potential rail elements that the appraisals will consider as part of the studies are:
* East Lothian Council – Haddington
* Fife Council – Cross Forth Travel
* Hitrans – HMNB Clyde Transport Opportunities
* Linlithgow and Linlithgow Bridge Community Council – Access to Linlithgow Station
* Nestrans – Accessibility at Insch Station
* Newburgh Train Station Group – Newburgh
* StARLink – St Andrews
* South Lanarkshire Council – connectivity in Clydesdale
* Tactran – Bridge of Earn/Oudenarde P&R
* Tactran – Stirling Strategic P&R