It’s not the end of the line for redualling

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Local Green MSP Ross Greer has called on the community to keep pushing for the Milngavie rail line to be redualled.

The Herald revealed last week that Transport Scotland had turned down a funding bid to investigate the possibility of twin-tracking the railway line between Westerton and Milngavie.

The bid from East Dunbartonshire Council for Local Rail Development Funding (LRDF) had unanimous approval of local councillors, MSPs and MPs, backing from community groups and trade unions, and the support of neighbouring local councils.

The council had already agreed to fund half of the cash for the feasibility study.

However, according to Mr Greer, the decision letter from Transport Scotland to East Dunbartonshire Council suggests that work is already being undertaken by Network Rail to resolve reliability problems on the line, which is the worst performing in Scotland. Just one in four trains arrive into Milngavie on time.

No such work was taking place before the local bid - and the Greens say this suggests “sustained coverage” of the issue has prompted the network to investigate 
solutions and may have opened up alternative funding routes.

Ross, Green MSP for the West of Scotland, who commissioned a report which concluded redualling the line was necessary to deal with punctuality problems across the network, said: “I am disappointed the government have not seen fit to work with the council and community on what is the worst performing section of Scotland’s rail network.

“That being said, there are signs that our campaign is being listened to and that action could be taken. Given that the knock-on effects are delays and cancellations on lines all across the central belt, I’m optimistic Network Rail’s investigations will show this is a major national problem that must be solved, and that redualling is the only effective solution.

“I’ll continue to push for urgent action to be taken to improve the service and for redualling as the only realistic permanent solution.”