Locals renew calls for Allander rail halt and parking

Bearsden Train Station.
Bearsden Train Station.

Residents are continuing to campaign for a rail halt with park and ride facilities at the Allander Leisure Centre site in Bearsden.

The calls have been growing over the last three decades due to increasing problems with parking in the area and more road congestion.

Many residents in Bearsden and Milngavie - as well as further afield in Strathblane, Blanefield, Killearn, Balfron and beyond - who want to travel by train are currently being denied the opportunity through lack of parking spaces, which discourages people from using the train at both peak and off-peak times of day.

In 2013 Bearsden North Community Council commissioned a technical report from experts Oxford Rail Strategies which was subsequently supported by all the local community councils.

This report, using Network Rail criteria and parameters, confirmed that a rail halt was perfectly possible on the existing single track line and could accommodate a service every half hour within the existing timetable without impacting the wider rail network.

Gordon Cox, convenor of Bearsden North Community Council said: “The rail industry reduced the existing railway from twin-track to single track around 25 years ago despite opposition.

“At that time the community was given reassurance that single track would still be suitable for a future Allander Halt.

“A STAG report carried out by Faber Munsell in 2008 confirmed that the Allander needs a rail halt with park and ride to reduce traffic congestion on the A81.

“The report stressed the importance of dealing with increased parking for the local railway stations with parking restrictions, pedestrian improvements, cycling arrangements, traffic calming and traffic reduction measures on the A81. East Dunbartonshire Council (EDC) has moved steadily on all matters in their remit and many of those transport alterations are being implemented. But nothing has happened about the rail halt and parking for using the railway.

“All the various public agencies that are involved in such transport schemes are just playing ‘pass the parcel’ and it is simply not good enough.

“We now need local and national politicians to work together and support local people to deliver this beneficial transport project.

This is not a party political issue but it does need elected representatives to sweep aside the obfuscation within the various government departments involved.”

“Unfortunately it is not within the Council’s gift to deliver the rail halts alone. We must work with Transport Scotland, SPT and Network Rail to achieve our common goals - improved transport links for East Dunbartonshire. That work has been taking place and will continue with renewed vigour.”