StARLink fails in latest bid for funding

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St Andrews Station in 1965, a week before the closure of the line around the Fife Coast to Leven.

At the recent meeting of the North East Area Committee, the campaign group, St Andrews Rail Link (StARLink), failed in its bid for £8,000 from the Local Community Planning Budget towards the cost of a Scottish Transport Appraisal Guidance (STAG) feasibility study to connect St Andrews with the rail network when councillors voted 8-3 against the proposal. StARLink had already secured £40,000 from the Scottish Government Local Rail Development Fund for the study, but required a further £8,000 to cover VAT.

Councillor Jane-Ann Liston, StARLink Convenor, said she was “naturally disappointed”. “However, StARLink is confident that it can find the money from elsewhere. In the meantime, the first part of the STAG ‘Case for Change’ is already under way and results are expected in April.”

St Andrews Labour councillor Brian Thomson suggested that “It would be completely different if a railway line or route was still available, like the proposal to re-open the railway line between Leven and the east coast main line. However, the route of the railway line that unfortunately closed in 1969 is not now available, and a completely new railway line would be required.”

“A feasibility study commissioned by StARLink around six years ago showed a route going through the the grounds of the Old Course Hotel, the St Andrews Links Practice Centre, the St Andrews Links Trust’s Morris Building, and it would require the diversion of holes on the Balgove and Strathtyrum golf courses.”

“Clearly, such a route is not feasible and there’s also the astronomical cost of such a project.

“Whilst I’ve got concerns that the Scottish Government has decided to spend £40,000 on funding a STAG appraisal on such a speculative proposal – particularly given the Scottish Government’s on-going cuts to local government – that decision has been taken, and I’d encourage StARLink to find more appropriate sources of funding for the remaining £7,000 required to allow the appraisal to proceed.”

For more vintage photos, go to: https://asrailway.livejournal.com/2231.html

For details about the StARLink campaign, go to: http://www.starlink-campaign.org.uk/

St Andrews Q.V.

St Andrews QV (Qui Vive) is an independent not-for-profit, non-political platform for news and debates about issues that are important to the Town. It exists to hold decision makers and public services to account while its editorial policy is to accommodate all shades of opinion from all parts of the community, prioritising evidence-based arguments. St Andrews QV is a member of the Independent Community News Network and is committed to the Community Journalism Charter

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