Fife train station not a priority -disabled access campaigners told
Campaigners bidding to improve disabled access at a busy Fife station insist it's not the end of the line, despite having their application rejected by Transport Scotland.
Burntisland Community Development Trust (BCDT) has been told its latest nomination would not be considered as part of the latest round of Access For All funding.
Campaigners have long argued that Burntisland station, which is the busiest in Fife currently without any specific disabled access, should be in line for improvements.
But, despite the nomination process not closing until mid-November, campaigners say Transport Scotland officials made it clear that Burntisland station is not considered a priority.
Despite the latest setback, Ben Barron, BCDT chairman told the Press the campaign would continue.
He said: “It’s hugely disappointing to be told the decision has already been taken by Transport Scotland to knock back our bid, especially as we have cross party support from politicians, the overwhelming support of the local community and the backing of the community action plan.
“I accept that there’s only so much funding to go round but with Burntisland’s population having increased 17 per cent compared to the Scottish rate of four per cent in recent years, there’s a growning demand. I thought we’d built a better case this time.
“We now plan to apply directly to the Department of Transport at Westminster, which controls the funding.”
Kathleen Leslie, Kirkcaldy West, Burntisland and Kinghorn councillor, added: “Whilst the meeting was positive and the Community Development Trust was encouraged to still submit a nomination form, Transport Scotland was clear that it already had all the information on each station and to secure funding the case has to be watertight.
“It seems that, currently, Burntisland is not a priority.
“The nomination will add to the evidence but for this to have been successful, it is my belief that some serious campaigning and lobbying would have had to have been going on for a few years.”
And the councillor called for the process to be made easier and more transparent for the public.
She added: “I do not want this to be seen as the end of the line. A well-presented and evidence backed nomination along with a continuation of the campaign, will potentially open up opportunities for other funding that may become available.”