I Agree With Gordon

Laurie Bidwell

31 January 2012

In the Courier yesterday I noticed a prominent article drawing attention to the "embarrassing failure" of the Scottish Government’s Rail 2016 Strategy currently out for consultation.

These withering words were from our former MP for Dundee East, the SNP's own Gordon Wilson.

I am pleased he has followed my lead in pointing out the disadvantages of this strategy for Dundee rail travellers.

( Read my concerns published on 23rd November 2011.>>>  )

More specifically, he says in his formal response to the Scottish Government's consultation, that the immediate priority is ensuring that East Coast trains from London continue through Fife, Dundee and Angus to Aberdeen.

It is proposed that the services could terminate in Edinburgh with ScotRail taking over the rest of the journey north.

''This will leave Aberdeen and intermediate station passengers, laden with luggage for long-distance journeys, forced to travel in ScotRail's inadequate rolling stock and having to change trains and platforms in Edinburgh.

''This will be a nightmare for families with young children, the elderly and disabled. It also downgrades the status of Aberdeen and Dundee within the transport network.

''One would have thought that Transport Scotland would have been alive to the difficulties likely to be faced by travellers from Aberdeen, Dundee and Fife — all heavily populated areas — and would have argued the case for retention of the service.

"Instead, the contrary is true. The paper opens the gate to loss of the direct London service.

"The service from Aberdeen gathers passengers at intermediate points like Montrose, Arbroath, Dundee and Fife.

"They are entitled to have their travelling interests considered by Scotland's transport agency when it formulates policy."

Hear hear!

If like me and Gordon you think we should "hang on to what we've got" send in your response to the consultation - the closing date for responses is 20 February 2012. More information is available from the Scottish Government. >>>

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