Campaigners looking to reinstate the rail line between Thornton and Leven have been urged by a fellow rail group to think about expanding their membership to see success.
Levenmouth Rail Campaign (LMRC) welcomed Tom Thornburn and Barrie Forrest from Rail Action Group East Scotland (RAGES) to their monthly open meeting last Wednesday.
If you have more members, you can not only bring that up with MSPs, but those people can feed into you something you might have missedTom Thornburn
And the duo advised the local group, which has been campaigning for the reinstatement of the link for the last 12 months, to think about creating official membership for those interested in backing the cause.
Tom explained: “One of the biggest things to focus on is to bring in more members.
“If you have more members, you can not only bring that up with MSPs, but those people can feed into you something you might have missed.”
Barrie explained that the group now has upwards of 160 members, who each pay a fee of £4.
Each of the members receives regular updates about the campaign’s progress and are free to attend meetings, although it’s not a requirement of membership.
Tom helped to form RAGES in 1999 while campaigning for more trains to stop at Dunbar Station.
After achieving great success with that campaign, the group is now focussed on the re-opening of Reston and East Linton Stations in the Borders, and want improvements to services to North Berwick.
They regularly have meetings with rail bosses and MSPs, and have a lot of input from the area’s community councils too.
“We are keen to see Reston opened as a hub for the East and the Borders. Our area is a bit down at the heel, and yours is too,” said Tom.
He added: “You can’t just look at it in terms of commuters, you have to look at what you have to offer, what you can promote and how you can bring people in to spend money here and use services.”
For more about RAGES, go to www.rages.org.uk
Following the meeting last week, there was a big boost in support for the campaign thanks to a surge in signatures on the online petition. If you would like to add your name, just head to www.gopetition.com and search ‘Levenmouth Rail’ or you can drop into the CLEAR office on College Street, Buckhaven. For more on LMRC, including a link to the petition, please visit www.lmrc-action.org.uk
Showing their support on the night were SNP representatives parliamentary candidate Peter Grant, MSP David Torrance and Councillor Alistair Hunter, who kick-started the mini campaign to get 50 new names on the petition that night. Cllr Hunter said: “I’m supporting the LMRC campaign because a rail service can bring investment, jobs and visitors.
“It will connect Levenmouth to the wider rail network for business and pleasure and the rest of Scotland and beyond to Levenmouth. In 24 hours I managed to drum up 100 signatures to the petition, I demonstrated the need to engage a different part of the community via social media and fully commit to doing all I can.”