S4W-13624: Extension of Stirling-Alloa-Kincardine railway line

Bill Walker: To ask the Scottish Government whether and, if so, when it will consider extending the restored Stirling-Alloa-Kincardine railway line to encompass Dunfermline and Edinburgh.

Date Lodged:12/03/13

Answered by Keith Brown, Minister for Transport and Veterans, (20/03/13): When considering the re-opening of former rail lines, it is necessary for the Scottish Government to take a strategic view and fully consider the impact of the whole network. Determining the potential benefits to new passengers against the negative impact on existing passengers, while robustly assessing the value for money and affordability are essential. The long-term demand, the operational and engineering feasibilities, subsidy implications to the Scottish Government and initial capital costs must all be considered in detail. A such, proposals to reopen former lines will require a transport appraisal.

I understand that SEStran had undertaken a study into rail options for this corridor. However, it did not follow the Government’s Strategic Transport Appraisal Guidance (STAG) which requires promoters to cover a range of transport alternatives, not just rail. Should SEStran undertake a comprehensive STAG appraisal on the transport needs for the area, Transport Scotland would be happy to offer advice in developing a business case.

In the meantime, the Scottish Government has no plans to extend the Stirling – Alloa – Kincardine railway line to Dunfermline and Edinburgh.

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