Transform Scotland’s Inter-City Express Campaign aims to see investment in the railway between the Central Belt of Scotland and Inverness brought up to the level being spent on roads (£6bn on the A9 and A96 upgrades). We are looking for a major investment programme to bring the railway up to 21st century standard by dualling the track, electrification and other enhancements.
An important element of our proposal is the re-opening of the line between Inverkeithing and Perth, which would give a reduction in journey time of at least 30 minutes to Perth and beyond. We have therefore been pressing for the safeguarding of remaining track and infrastructure from non-rail development which would inevitably lead to increased costs when the line is reconstructed.
We were therefore pleased to receive the following reply from Perth and Kinross Council in response to our query regarding protection of the route:
“Thank you for getting in touch on behalf of Transform Scotland asking about whether steps have been taken to safeguard the former railway line between Inverkeithing and Perth, where it’s in the area of the Perth and Kinross LDP. I am pleased to confirm that the Ministerial statement is correct. Following the examination of the LDP, the Council agreed with the Reporter’s recommendation to amend policy CF2 to explicitly include any disused railway line. This was done prior to the Plan’s adoption in February 2014.”
In response, John Webster from Transform Scotland commented:
“This shows vision on behalf of Perth and Kinross councillors and officials and Transform Scotland hopes that other Councils along former railway routes will take similar measures so that sensible re-openings can be undertaken in future years using remaining infrastructure.”
“Some credit for this change must surely go to Liz Smith MSP who raised questions in the Scottish Parliament on this issue.”