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GILRUTH SECURES LEVEN RAIL COMMITMENT

Publised date : 29 Sep 2017

Leven's MSP, Jenny Gilluth, has secured a commitment from Scottish Government Transport Minister, Humza Yousaf MSP, on the future of the Leven Rail Link. Ms Gilruth this week took the Levenmouth Rail Campaign to Holyrood in a member's debate which received cross-party support in the Scottish Parliament. 

 

Gilruth, a long standing supporter of the campaign, recently hit out at the Edinburgh City region deal which made no provision for the Rail Link's re-instatment. 

 

Leading the debate, Jenny Gilruth MSP rebutted Transport Scotland's response to the most recent upgraded STAG proposal, the process through which all new rail applications must go. In her speech the MSP provided submissions from local business including Diageo, WH Malcolm and Donaldson Timber. The MSP pointed to the Levenmouth Academy. The new school was supported by £25 million of Scottish Government funding and officially opened by Deputy First Minister, John Swinney MSP, earlier this year. Ronnie Ross, Head Teacher at the school, commented ahead of Ms Gilruth's debate:

 

'I firmly believe, as do most of my staff and pupils, that the Rail Link is an essential ingredient to reviving the fortunes of Levenmouth and also for enabling people to travel in and out of the area for work purposes'. 

 

As a result of the MSP's debate the Transport Minister has now written to Fife Council to take forward the necessary transport appraisal work. 

 

David Alexander, co-council leader at Fife Council, commented:

 

'I welcome the Transport Minister's response to Jenny Gilruth's members debate. Fife Council will work with the Scottish Government to ensure we take the necessary next steps on the Rail Line's future'.

 

Jenny Gilruth MSP concluded her speech by stating:

 

'The Leven Rail Link has the potential to change lives in my constituency and beyond. It will bring jobs. It will bring investment. It will widen the horizons of the next generation. It just needs that final green light from Government'.

 

Ends

Motion referred to - 

“That the Parliament notes what it sees as the strong support that the Levenmouth Rail Campaign has achieved; believes this has been demonstrated by it organising a petition that has by signed by over 12,500 residents from the area that calls for the re-opening of the rail link from Thornton to Leven; welcomes the Fife Council report, Levenmouth Sustainable Transport Study – Final Stag Report, which was published in January 2017; understands that this study included a strongly positive cost-benefit analysis for the link and suggested that its re-opening would lead to major economic benefits; believes that, although the Levenmouth area faces high levels of economic deprivation and problems with connectivity, it has substantial opportunities for employment and economic development; considers that this project could help deliver this; understands that passenger numbers on other re-opened services, including the Borders Railway and the Airdrie-Bathgate line have exceeded predictions, and notes the view that a strong case has been made for ministers to give serious consideration to the re-opening of the Levenmouth line for passenger and freight services.”

 

Local Reporters, East Fife Mail, Glenrothes Gazette, St Andrews Citizen, TRANSPORT
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