Tag Archives: rail

Rail freight cuts: setback for Grangemouth station

Scottish Government proposals to cut rail freight grants are bad news for those campaigning for a Grangemouth rail station, says Falkirk East MSP Cathy Peattie.
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Grangemouth Transport: Keeping up the pressure

Keeping up the pressure on the Scottish Government, Falkirk East MSP Cathy Peattie has again raised the issue of road and rail improvements in the Grangemouth area, including the potential for a Grangemouth Rail Station.
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Avon Gorge/Grangemouth hub should be Government priority

Falkirk East MSP Cathy Peattie has called on the Scottish Government to give a higher priority to the A801 Avon Gorge upgrade and the Grangemouth freight hub.
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Grangemouth campaign meets Minister

Representatives of the Grangemouth Transport Forum have met Transport Minister Stewart Stevenson to discuss Grangemouth transport needs – and what Grangemouth has to offer to Scotland’s economy and Scotland’s climate change strategy.

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Minister to meet Grangemouth Transport Forum

The Minister for Transport, Stewart Stevenson, has agreed to meet the Grangemouth Transport Forum.

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Grangemouth hub: good for economy & environment

Speaking in parliament in a debate on the National Planning Framework, Falkirk East MSP has raised the issue of infrastructure improvements in Grangemouth and surrounding areas.

“Any policy or development that can tick the boxes of being good for the economy and good for the environment must surely be a priority. I would place in that category measures to transfer passenger and freight traffic to more environmentally friendly forms of transport; enhance rail and shipping facilities; integrate transport; and promote and improve roads and pathways for walkers and cyclists. I therefore support moves to improve cycle paths, enhance pedestrian access, extend rail provision and further develop freight hubs, such as the port of Grangemouth in my constituency.

“Grangemouth is already the busiest port in Scotland, but I understand that it has significant spare capacity and room for growth. For example, the port would benefit from improved links to the motorway network, as would local people and the local economy. I am proud to say that the community in Grangemouth has come together with local businesses and elected representatives to push for such improvements. That is an excellent example of people working together, and I hope that the minister will accept my invitation to discuss with them the importance of Grangemouth to the economy and environment of Scotland.”

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Call for national action on Grangemouth transport

Falkirk East MSP Cathy Peattie called for urgent action on the transport infrastructure of Grangemouth and the surrounding area, including the Avon Gorge.

Speaking in parliament debate on the Strategic Transport Projects Review, published as the debate began she outlined the case for improved road and rail links to Grangemouth as a national priority. The Review was followed on Friday by the publication of the National Planning Framework 2, the draft of which had recognised the important role of Grangemouth as an intermodal freight hub.

The review (see http://www.transportscotland.gov.uk/projects/strategic-transport-projects-review) identifies 29 projects across Scotland, which will now be prioritised for expenditure from 2012 onwards.

PROJECT 20 is “Grangemouth Road and Rail Access Upgrades” with the stated aim “To improve rail access to Grangemouth port and the freight hub and road access to and from the motorway network. On the roads, the Grangemouth project will involve an upgrade to Junction 6 on the M9 and the A801 between Grangemouth and the M8. On the rail, it would see electrification of the railway between Coatbridge and Grangemouth, track modifications to improve access from the west and east and an increased loading gauge to allow larger containers to be carried by train. This project will help serve existing and developing industrial and distribution facilities along the M8.” The cost estimate is £100 million – £250 million.

Cathy said “The Grangemouth Transport has been campaigning to get this project onto the agenda, and now we will be campaigning to ensure it is high on the agenda. Grangemouth is crucial to the Scottish economy and the Scottish environment, but will not fulfil its potential unless these improvements are prioritised. We also want to ensure that this is done to the benefit of local people, including reducing the impact of freight traffic on residential areas and improving public transport and routes for cyclists and pedestrians.

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Taken for a ride by ScotRail …

The Deputy Convener of the Scottish Parliament Transport Infrastructure and Climate Change Committee, Cathy Peattie, has tabled a motion in the parliament calling for a halt to the ScotRail franchise extension, a Scottish Parliament inquiry, and for the Minister for Transport, Stewart Stevenson, to make a statement to MSPs. She is also planning to raise the issue at the TICC committee.

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Grangemouth puts case to Holyrood

The campaign to boost Grangemouth’s transport infrastructure has taken another step forward with a presentation in the Scottish Parliament, arguing that improvements to Grangemouth’s road and rail links should be a national priority.

The meeting with MSPs and Scottish Government agencies and officials took place on Thursday November 6th, and was addressed by Community Councillor Walter Inglis, Falkirk Council Transport Planning Coordinator Kevin Collins, Forth Ports’ Director Alan Burns, and Phil Flanders of the Road Haulage Association.

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On the buses

Speaking in the Scottish Parliament, Cathy Peattie has highlighted the shortcomings of public transport in the Falkirk area, and called for action to tackle the problems, including bus regulation.

“Public transport is one of the most persistent and widespread sources of dissatisfaction among my constituents,” she said.

“I wish that First ScotRail would give my constituents a better deal. Fares from Falkirk and Polmont to Edinburgh and Glasgow are more per mile than most. A passenger station in Grangemouth would also be exceedingly welcome.

“Rail might be expensive and serve too few places, but bus travel is undoubtedly the biggest bugbear. If we are serious about tackling climate change and encouraging people to use public transport, we need better buses, more routes and timetables that meet the public’s needs.

“It is too easy to say that there is no demand when the lack of services has forced travellers to use private transport. It is too easy to say that people would rather use their cars and that buses are uncomfortable, inaccessible and expensive. It is also too easy to say that services are not viable when, if the truth be known, they arrive late, leave early and miss connections, if they appear at all.

“People need reliable and affordable public transport that is a pleasure to use, not a nightmare. Without it, we will not achieve our targets for modal shift and climate change.

“To be fair, some bus companies realise their shortcomings and the better among them attempt to take on board passengers’ views, but the bottom line is always profits, not people.

“Competition between bus companies is often imperfect, if it exists at all. In such circumstances, we cannot expect companies to provide adequate self-regulation and to achieve proper integration of public transport. We need Scotland-wide regulation. We also need to address the Scottish Government’s policies, which have left Scotland’s bus operators with higher costs than those in other parts of the United Kingdom and have led to massive fare increases for bus passengers throughout Scotland.

“We have seen a secret deal to extend the rail franchise and higher-than-inflation increases in rail fares. There has also been outrage among users of ferry services on the Clyde, in the northern isles and on most routes in Argyll because of discrimination in ferry fares between islands.

“In particular, we should strive for better provision for older and disabled travellers, and young families with prams and small children. Bus timetables should include information about low-loader and accessible buses. I still hear stories about disabled people waiting an hour or more for an accessible bus. That is not good enough.

“Free bus passes have been very well received by the people of Scotland. I have yet to hear a good reason for not extending concessionary travel to those who are on the lower rate of the disability allowance. We must also address the need for a concessionary travel scheme for those who depend on community transport, and I welcome what the minister said about that. It is time to stop dithering and to regain the momentum to improve public transport in Scotland.”