Fife Council has approved funding of £100,000 to update an essential report which could be used to promote the reinstatement of the Levenmouth rail link.
Council members approved the re-profiling of the cash from the 2021-22 budget to be brought forward for 2015-16 to allow for an update of the Scottish Transport Apraisal Guidance (STAG) report to be carried out next year.
The report was initially carried out in 2008 and was put to Transport Scotland for possible reinstatement. However, it was not included in that year’s strategic transport projects review.
A consultant who will carry out the report will be appointed later this month, and it is expected that the study will be completed in April 2015.
Dr Allen Armstrong from Levenmouth Rail Campaign (LMRC) which was set up earlier this year to campaign for the reinstatement of the line welcomed the news. He said: “LMRC is pleased and relieved that the Council is now formally advancing with this vital next step in the drive to regain rail services for Levenmouth. The STAG study is a necessary, critical stage in seeking the restitution of rail services and the Government funding involved.”
He added: “Our hope is for a comprehensive and effective study, covering all transport modes, and which concludes that there is an overwhelming case for rail as LMRC believes.
“That is far from the end of the road since it will need to compete with other transport projects around the country (for road, rail, bridges) for scarce Government investment funds.
“Industry experts advise that these final decisions are largely political so it will need a determined joint effort from community, businesses and elected representatives to lend weight to the STAG.”