Grangemouth and Bonnybridge station proposals hit the buffers again

The former Grangemouth station, seen shortly before its closure in 1968.  There is disagreement over how best to secure a new rail halt for the town
The former Grangemouth station, seen shortly before its closure in 1968. There is disagreement over how best to secure a new rail halt for the town
  • Dispute continues over how to fund vital report
  • Council leader says use of taxpayers’ money can’t be justified
  • SNP calls for bid to be made to get government cash
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Plans to build new stations at Grangemouth and Bonnybridge look set to remain in the sidings for the foreseeable future.

A Labour amendment passed at a recent Falkirk Council budget meeting called for council leader Craig Martin and the leader of the opposition Cecil Meiklejohn to write to Holyrood transport chiefs asking for their support in moving the two projects forward.

The impression created by this administration is they don’t want these stations

Councillor David Alexander

But an ongoing dispute over how to fund a STAG report - which must be commissioned before any new station can be signed off by Transport Scotland - means trains are unlikely to call at either town anytime soon.

Such a report, which examines the potential benefits of any new development, is said to cost around £100,000.

Councillor Martin said the local authority could not justify spending that amount of taxpayers’ money as the Scottish Government has previously expressed no support for the new stations.

He told The Falkirk Herald he will write to new transport minister Derek McKay asking if the government will provide half of the cost.

SNP member and Bonnybridge councillor Tom Coleman said at the meeting that the Scottish Government was previously prepared to fund half of the cost of a STAG report.

However, council officials said they had not received any indication that was the case.

A spokeswoman for Transport Scotland said: “It is the responsibility of the promoting authority of any transport project to fund and produce a STAG appraisal.”

SNP Councillor David Alexander said: “The bottom line is there is a procedure for bidding for such transport projects. If you don’t bid, you won’t get them.

“The impression created by this administration is they don’t want these stations. It contemplates its own belly button more than anything else.

“The £100,000 figure suggested for the cost of a STAG report is a nonsense - a lot of the background work has already been done, it just needs to be updated.”

Falkirk Council owns land in both Grangemouth and Bonnybridge which is being kept vacant in case it is required for any future rail development.

The port town site is close to where its original station, which closed in 1968, was located. A new Bonnybridge station would likely be built in Broomhill Road, close to where the Grahamston line cuts through an embankment.

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