A few days ago, two Scottish councils announced their intentions to spend millions of pounds on new stations in their areas. Both Scottish Borders and East Lothian, have approved plans for a station in each of their catchments. With approval from the Scottish Government as both councils followed the set out procedure and acquired the needed Scottish Transport Appraisal Guidelines (STAG) reports, before putting their proposals forward to the Scottish Government.
While this is amazing news for the residents in these communities, Bonnybridge residents are still being left out after over 20 years of campaigning, due to the inept attitudes of the local authority, whom would rather get a report on a report and have everything handed to them, instead of commissioning the needed STAG report, that would allow a final answer to be determined once and for all. Falkirk Council have yet to commission a STAG report with the last station opened in Falkirk being handed to them on a silver platter.
Local resident and co-chair of Re-instate Bonnybridge Railway Station, Bryan Deakin said “We welcome to the news for the residents of Reston and East Linton and we wish them all the best, hopefully this recent move will embarrass the local authority for their lack of support by the members of the local administration and the council officers in our area, who would rather commission pointless reports and send emails, than spend the money that the people of Bonnybridge and surrounding area’s truly want.”
NAIG Secretary, Brian McCabe added “Scottish Borders and East Lothian Councils; two forward looking authorities prepared to invest in their communities. I wonder if Councillors Buchanan and Gow will now contact their counterparts in these two councils to see how it was possible to push on so successfully with their train stations while Falkirk languishes in the doldrums. My bet is they won’t.”
Local Resident, Fiona Russell said “It’s such a shame that Bonnybridge is missing out again. It is very difficult to get a bus to Glasgow or Edinburgh so having a local station is more important now than ever. I feel especially sorry for students who must be struggling to get into the cities because of the cut backs on bus route. Bonnybridge is right in the center between Glasgow and Edinburgh, but without a car it is very difficult to get anywhere. It seems so unfair that other places get the benefits of a local station, but Bonnybridge loses out.”
Founder of the Bonnybridge Banter and a local of Bonnybridge, Arlene Graham stated “I’m restricted where I can go given that I can’t drive, have two children with disabilities and only have an hourly service for bus transport. If a train station was available in my area it would benefit my family as a whole since it would give us access to more shopping facilities, visits to attractions, hospital appointments out with my area”
Each week more and more residents are speaking out against the lack of actions, and it seems it will be a focal point in May’s elections. But for now, Bonnybridge residents will have to watch on while more places get a station, and Bonnybridge is left in the dark.