Fares, rail policy and DfT news

12.03.19

Proposals for direct Perth to Edinburgh train link to be considered by Transport Scotland

Transport Scotland has confirmed it will look into proposals to introduce a direct rail link between Edinburgh and Perth.

Rail bosses said it they would consider the transport links between the two Scottish cities as part of an upcoming review of strategic projects, responding to calls from councillors to install a direct link from Perth to the capital.

Councillor Callum Purves first called for a faster, more direct rail link via Kinross in October 2017, claiming it would bring benefits to the region’s commuter population.

The railway between Edinburgh and Perth was closed in 1970, diverting trains via Fife in order to install the M90 motorway.

But last month the Labour/Independent group at Perth and Kinross Council proposed setting aside £150,000 from its budget for a study for the rail link.

Speaking to the PA this week, Transport Scotland said: “Work has just started on our second strategic transport projects review, which is considering how best to connect all parts of Scotland in the future.

“Transport links between Edinburgh and Perth will be considered as part of the review.”

Purves said: “I have long campaigned for the reinstatement of the Perth to Edinburgh direct rail link with a park and ride station in Kinross.

“It is something that would have significant benefits for our commuter population and attract more tourists to the many things that Kinross-shire has to offer.”

The councillor added: “This is not just a matter for Perth and Kinross Council, however.

“As my motion indicated, the Scottish Government needs to listen to local residents and businesses on this important issue and put money towards a new feasibility study for this line.”

But Lib-Dem councillor Willie Robertson, who supported funding a study last month, said he had changed his mind and said it would be a “complete waste of public money.”

He said improving rail connections to places such as Fife, Levenmouth and St Andrews should come first.

Image credit - Mike Pennington

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