Lib Dems call for studies into reopening railways

The Scottish Liberal Democrat conference in Hamilton has today called for radical plans to reshape Scotland’s rail network as it backed a motion from three local parties in the North East asking the Scottish Government to conduct a formal review of a number of closed lines and calling for new stations to be opened on existing lines. 

The motion, as amended, calls for the Government to formally review a number of railways closed in Scotland since 1945, with a view to commissioning feasibility studies on re-opening viable lines. It could see old railway stations reopened alongside new stations in towns currently on the railway network but with no access to the lines on which they are situated. 

The motion calls for a formal review of the prospects of re-opening the following routes for passenger traffic: Levenmouth, Glasgow Crossrail, Alloa to Dunfermline, Grangemouth, St Andrews, Borders railway to Carlisle, Peterhead, Edinburgh’s Abbeyhill Loop and South Suburban and other lines where local people have lobbied ministers.  

Commenting after the motion was passed by conference, transport spokesperson Mike Rumbles MSP said: 

“Expanding our rail network is of huge social and environment benefit to Scotland, particularly for those who live in rural areas that have been cut off from public transport for too long. 

“Conducting feasibility studies provides an opportunity for the Scottish Government, MSPs and local communities to determine the best way to expand the rail network, reopen closed railway lines and better connect Scotland. 

“It was Scottish Liberal Democrats who set the reopening of the Borders railway in motion. Now we are putting forward radical proposals to enable much more of Scotland to access the rail network.” 

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