Consultation on future rail development

Traffic congestion as with many other cities in the UK is a big problem in Edinburgh. We are now at a stage where we can’t accommodate new road traffic coming into the city. Therefore we need more options for commuters.

Key to this will be improving our rail services. Network Rail is holding a consultation on the future needs of Scotland’s railways. It’s therefore important we get a wide range of views submitted which support investing in our rail infrastructure.

The consultation particularly needs to hear from the people who use rail lines, who can recognise the areas in need of improvement from their everyday use of the service. The consultation responses will influence funding decisions for the period of 2019-2029.

Here is a list of potential choices identified by the draft document:

  • Edinburgh Waverley platform extensions and approaches to the station
  • East Coast Main Line– including options for four-tracking the line between Wallyford Prestonpans
  • Enhancing capacity at Glasgow Central
  • Strengthening services on the Ayrshire and Inverclyde routes
  • Phased electrification to Aberdeen
  • Electrification of East Kilbride/Barrhead and Kilmarnock/Barassie lines
  • Remodelling Carstairs junction
  • Remodelling Perth Station
  • Route enhancements to Inverness / Aberdeen / Far North.

These options have been chosen as their development and enhancement would have a significant and long term impact on improving connectivity, capacity and resilience on the existing network.  We need to see priority given to a railway network which links in to other transport users – so park and ride for car users, better bus connections and safe access for pedestrians and cyclists need to be maximised – not added as an afterthought.  I recently met with Network Rail again with two of my disabled constituents to discuss improving access to Waverley Station for people with disabilities.  Waverley Station is a good example of a station where more needs to be done to make the station accessible to people’s needs.

I believe that the South Suburban Railway also needs to be on the agenda. In my view, the development of this line would be good for the citizens of Edinburgh and it’s economy. You can read my recent speech on the matter by clicking here.

And you can access Network Rail’s consultation document here.

The rail industry would welcome views you may have by 10th March 2016. Comments can be emailed to:    Please make clear if you would like to withhold all or part of your response and/or name from publication on the Network Rail website.