Call for council to give rail campaign a boost

Conservative councillors think the addition of a expert project officer could give the campaign a boost.
Conservative councillors think the addition of a expert project officer could give the campaign a boost.

Conservative councillors in the area have called on Fife Council to give further backing to the campaign to restore the rail link.

Leven councillor Graham Ritchie, Glenrothes councillor Mick Green, and East Neuk councillor Linda Holt want the council to employ an expert project officer.

They believe the addition of a project officer could give the campaign a much-needed boost, and the Conservative group has proposed the £75,000 per year post as an amendment to Fife Council’s budget, which will be decided upon today (Thursday).

Cllr Ritchie said: “Unfortunately the Scottish Government appears to have kicked this project into the long grass, and although Fife Council makes all the right sounds, it has been less than dynamic in getting it moving.

“Levenmouth campaigners have told us that key to the successful campaign for the Borders rail link was a rail expert employed by the council to bring focus and push to their campaign. Unless the government sees Fife Council committing 100 per cent to the Levenmouth rail link, they won’t run with it either.

“This is why we are now proposing the council makes a concrete commitment – a rail expert backed by a cross-party council working group – to give the Levenmouth rail campaign the boost it needs.”

Cllr Linda Holt added: “Much of north east Fife is also affected by the poor transport infrastructure which blights development in Levenmouth.

“A rail link would relieve much of the congestion on the A915.

“Economic development should be top of the agenda for a council committed to tackling poverty and inequality.

“It’s time Labour and SNP leaders at Fife Council put their money where their mouths are.”

Cllr Mick Green said that the reinstatement of the rail link was the most effective way of regenerating the Levenmouth area, adding: “If the administration budget goes through unamended, Fife Council will miss another opportunity to progress this project.”

Ken Gourlay, head of service at Fife Council, said: “Transport Scotland have employed a specialist consultant to look at the STAG (Scottish Transport Appraisal Guidance) and we continue to work with them.

“Once this process has been completed we would review the resource inputs needed.”