Greer urges residents to make views known

Ross Greer MSP with rail report.
Ross Greer MSP with rail report.

People are being encouraged to contact the Secretary for Transport after a public meeting in Milngavie saw Green MSP Ross Greer launch his report calling for the line to Milngavie to be re-dualled.

Michael Matheson, who was this week named Cabinet Secretary covering transport, will have to choose between applicants for a rail development fund secured by the Green MSPs.

One of these applications is from East Dunbartonshire Council for the required survey work, which would precede the re-dualling of the line from Westerton to Milngavie, currently the worst performing in Scotland.

The meeting heard rail consultant David Prescott reporting on the work he had been looking into the problems caused, and how they can be addressed.

His research found, amongst other things, that: Combined, the three stations on the line (Milngavie, Hillfoot and Bearsden) are as busy as the 11th busiest station in Scotland (Dundee), yet they are connected to the rest of the network by the only single-track line in Scotland that carries four trains each way per hour, the only terminating route in this position.

Trains to Milngavie have the worst record in Scotland for punctuality, with nearly three in four arriving into Milngavie over a minute late.

The line causes problems for the rail network across the central belt. This is due not only to trains being held up by late-running trains at Westerton Junction, but the constraint in timetable caused by needing to time trains exactly to use the single-track sections. The report is clear that the problem is not only a local concern but should be a high priority for the rail network in Scotland.

After the meeting, Ross Greer, Scottish Greens MSP for the West of Scotland, commented: “It was brilliant to hear David, a rail expert with many years experience, explaining how he started work somewhat unconvinced but came to realise that the re-dualling of the line to Milngavie is a vital improvement which needs to be made for the good of our community and the rail network across west and central Scotland.

“I’ve sent the report to the Scottish Government, East Dunbartonshire Council, my elected colleagues and the initial response has been very positive. Our campaign is building momentum. The decision over the rail development fund is due shortly. I’d urge everyone to write to our new Transport Minister, and to sign my petition at https://greens.scot/milngavieredual”