Report bolsters case for rail link

The campaign has been included in the Tay Cities Deal. (Pic: George Robin)
The campaign has been included in the Tay Cities Deal. (Pic: George Robin)

The group campaigning for a restored rail link for St Andrews has launched a new report in a bid to strengthen its case.

The policy review, produced by St Andrews Rail Link campaign (STARlink), highlights the benefits a rail link would bring to the town.

Included in the list of advantages it would bring to the town is boosting tourism during golf tournaments and helping St Andrews University become the first carbon neutral university in the UK.

The next major step for the campaign is the production of a STAG report, a requirement for all transport projects seeking backing from the Scottish Government.

Fife Council has requested a portion of the Tay Cities Deal investment to fund this study, and it is hoped the report will bolster the campaign’s chances of being included in the finalised deal.

Jane Ann Liston, convener of STARlink, said: “This piece of work adds credibility and means it is more likely to survive the sifting process.

“There are a lot of projects in the deal and not all of them are going to be in the final presentation to the UK and Scottish governments.

“We have to make sure we are included. This is all ammunation as it bolsters our case.”

Jane Ann believes Fife has been left behind in what she called a “rail renaissance” but thinks the campaign is starting to make real progress.

She said: “We are just continuing to build up the case and speak to people – building up a head of steam.

“Being included in the Cities deal has made a difference. Everyone who has heard the case has been convinced and we’re making the campaign difficult to ignore.

“St Andrews is a destination; an important destination; an international destination – and it’s only accessible by road.”

The campaign has secured the backing of numerous local politicians.

Stephen Gethins, MP for North East Fife, said: “St Andrews is hugely important to the economy of Fife and local people and visitors alike should have access to the best possible transport links available. The case for the reinstatement of the rail link to St Andrews is compelling and I welcome the news that it has been included in the Tay Cities’ Deal supported by the Scottish Government.”