The campaign for action on the Milngavie rail line has been given new traction after an SNP-Green deal in the Scottish budget.
A £2 million feasibility fund for rail improvement projects was a key demand made by Green MSPs in exchange for supporting the budget vote at Holyrood last week.
It is hoped the funding will support calls to redual the Westerton to Milngavie line and lead to the opening of the long-proposed Allander station between Milngavie and Hillfoot.
Green MSP for the West of Scotland Ross Greer, who is from East Dunbartonshire, said: “While there have been warm words from the Scottish Government for redualling the line, local residents recognise that concrete action is a step not yet taken and would need Government resources to make it happen.
“This fund, secured by the Greens, will provide dedicated resources to help make the case for new stations and lines around Scotland, and I will be making the case as loudly as I can for the Milngavie line and Allander station.
“Re-dualling the Milngavie line is vital to address not only the appalling record of delays and cancellations but also to prevent the knock-on effect to the wider rail network across the West of Scotland.
“An Allander station will provide a great deal of help in resolving congestion and parking problems in Milngavie and Bearsden, and give more of the community easy access to public transport”.
The new fund comes a few months after the Minister for Transport agreed to explore local SNP MSP Rona Mackay’s call to re-twin the line.
The Strathkelvin and Bearsden MSP asked Humza Yousaf during a portfolio questions session in the Scottish Parliament in November.
Ms Mackay highlighted the line was the worst performer in Scotland over the past year and that trains are regularly skipping stations.
At the time, she told the Herald she was delighted to get the opportunity to put this to the minister because both her constituents and those of Milngavie MSP Gil Paterson “have had enough of these delays and skip-stopping”.
She added: “Gil and I will be pushing for this line to be re-twinned and then for the proposed rail halt at Allander to be built as East Dunbartonshire Council has proposed.
“The re-twinning and Allander rail halt are such simple solutions to solving these massive problems on the line. I eagerly await to hear what the transport minister’s investigations yield so we can move forward with helping constituents as a matter of urgency.”
An online petition by Milngavie woman Lynn Reid, calling on Scotrail to stop skipping stops has now collected almost 2,000 signatures.