Recently I raised the campaign for the reintroduction of the Levenmouth rail link during General Questions in the Scottish Parliament. As a supporter of this campaign since I was first elected in 2007, I believe that if there is any chance of the rail link being reintroduced we need to see a firm commitment from the Scottish Government.
I was able to question the Deputy First Minister and Cabinet Secretary for Infrastructure, Nicola Sturgeon MSP, asking where the rail link ranks among the Scottish Government’s transport proprieties. In my question I highlighted that such a project will not be able to go forward ”without financial backing from the Scottish Government.”
I was also able to highlight the benefit the rail link would have on residents and businesses within Levernmouth, particularly the benefit the link would have on freight travel to major developments such as the energy park in Methil and the expansion of Diageo in Leven.
Sadly despite the strong social and economic arguments in favour of its reintroduction the Deputy First Minister failed to offer a commitment to the project and unfortunately admitted that the scheme isn’t a Government priority at this moment in time.
There has been some progress with freight travel and that must be continued. We have seen with the expansion of Diageo and the growth of the Energy Park that the demand and opportunity is there. Due to the developments in Leven and Methil we must now look towards updating the 2008 STAG report to show the feasibility of the rail link. It is important that going forward we can make a strong economic case to present to the Government, one that they can’t ignore.
I was pleased to also get the backing from the Chair of Levenmouth Area Council, Councillor Tom Adams for raising the question in Parliament. Councillor Adams was able to highlight that Fife council has earmarked £2 million in assist with any reintroduction but this is based on the proviso that the Scottish Government can significantly assist with the funding.