Written by Scott Campbell.
Published at 13:41 BST on Monday, 23rd July 2012.
 
Council support an Abronhill station, to delight of local MSP

Jamie Hepburn, SNP MSP for Cumbernauld and Kilsyth, has welcomed the change in stance by North Lanarkshire Council in respect of his calls for them to support the creation of a new railway station for Abronhill. 

Previously, Mr Hepburn had received a letter from the Council’s Head of Roads and Transportation, Graham Mackay in which he had stated, “the Council in consultation with Strathclyde Partnership for Transport considered the case for provision of a new station for Abronhill and for various reasons were unable to support the proposal”. 

However, in a letter to Mr Hepburn that was sent earlier this month, Mr Mackay set out that the Council’s position had changed, and that they now back the creation of an Abronhill railway station, and set this out in their recent submission to Transport Scotland’s consultation on arrangements for renewing the rail franchise.

Mr Mackay wrote to Mr Hepburn in response to a letter calling for the Council to utilise the Scottish Government’s recently announced £30million Scottish Stations Investment Fund to secure a new station for Abronhill.  Mr Hepburn has now written once again to North Lanarkshire Council to request a meeting with Mr Mackay to discuss how to take forward plans for any new Abronhill railway station.

Commenting Mr Hepburn said: “I welcome North Lanarkshire Council’s new found enthusiasm for a station at Abronhill.  It was disappointing that previous letters set out that the Council wouldn’t support the creation of any new station, and left me concerned that they were leaving the local area behind in any efforts to secure improved transport infrastructure.

“So it is fantastic to have the support of the local authority for an Abronhill railway station.  Now we need to see those warm words put into action, and that is why I have suggested a meeting with the Head of Roads and Transportation to see how we can move this idea forward.

“I continue to believe that a station in Abronhill would be a popular and well-used addition to the local public transport network, and I hope that with the Council’s support we can try and make it a reality.”

Responding to the MSP’s comments, a North Lanarkshire Council spokesman, said: “Rail investment management was removed by the Scottish Government from regional partnerships, in our case Strathclyde Partnership for Transport, to become a Scottish government responsibility.

“We are disappointed that the Government has chosen not to fully fund the rail infrastructure previously recommended by the council that included a station at Abronhill and we will now examine the very limited funding available through a small government grant.”