Trying to get new station on track

Hillfoot train station - one stop prior to the proposed new station at the Allander Leisure Centre
Hillfoot train station - one stop prior to the proposed new station at the Allander Leisure Centre

Campaigners have renewed their calls for a new train station with park and ride facilities at the Allander Leisure Centre in Bearsden.

Pressure group Railfuture Scotland has welcomed the introduction of new electric trains in 2018, but they now want an assurance that the Milngavie line will get a new station between Hillfoot and Milngavie, including 400 park and ride spaces.

Ken Sutherland, research officer at Railfuture Scotland, said: “We need this new stop to deal with increasing demand for rail travel which is currently being throttled by a gross inadequacy of parking spaces at Milngavie station and other stations in Bearsden.

“It would be a major factor in reducing the intrusive and hazardous parking overspill into Milngavie/Bearsden housing areas and the dangerously narrowed A81 Milngavie Road which is now used as a ‘linear car park’.

“The lack of adequate station parking is now a major discouragement to off-peak travel train travel on the Milngavie line after 7.30am.

“The car parks are full, and it’s a gaping hole in ‘joined-up’ transport planning which ScotRail Alliance/Transport Scotland are supposed to be promoting.

“Despite being strongly advocated by two transport studies, East Dunbartonshire’s Local Development Plan, and four different community councils in Milngavie/Bearsden area, there is growing frustration over the ‘snail’s gallop’ progress towards the provision of a simple Allander Station.

“It would be a convenient, competitive and sustainable alternative to car commuting into and beyond Glasgow.”

Mr Sutherland suggested that the ScotRail Alliance/ Transport Scotland’s choice of Milngavie Station for promotion of their new electric trains was a “unique opportunity” to promise a new Allander Park and Ride station in Bearsden, opening simultaneously with the 2018 introduction of their new electric trains.