After the Newburgh Community Trust commissioned Sustainable Newburgh to survey households in the town in 2010-2011 around 70-80% of those surveyed said ”they would like to see the station at Newburgh reopen”
So far cross-party support for this has been given by local MSPs and councillors. Local MSPs have signed a motion in the Scottish Parliament calling for the station to reopen and all sent representations to the 2011 Tay Plan alongside campaign supporters in Newburgh and elsewhere. The Tay Plan proposals were submitted to Scottish ministers on 1st December 2011 and can be viewed online at council offices and public libraries in the area (http://www.tayplan-sdpa.gov.uk/). The Tay Plan now recognises that a full transport appraisal for Newburgh is due and since a large body of the public and their political representatives are calling for the station to be reopened, which the Scottish Government opposes through its rail authority, Transport Scotland, the Tay Plan has registered this as an unresolved issue. Unresolved issues are considered by Reporters appointed by Scottish Ministers to conduct an Examination. The campaign may or may not be called to submit further information depending on what the Reporters decide in the course of their Examination. This runs to June 2012.
The decision on whether to reopen the station or keep it closed is basically a political decision. Public pressure and argument coming from Newburgh and its catchment area is therefore vital. In the last ten years the Edinburgh-Perth train service has more than doubled. Local population increases in Abernethy and Newburgh continue, making even more people in the area likely to want to catch the train. Newburgh alone with well over 2000 folk is the largest town in Fife on a railway line with no station and entirely dependent on road transport! With rising oil prices and carbon emissions a station makes sense.
Given that a train service is already up and running, a Newburgh Station could be viably operated and maintained almost certainly improving railway finances rather than requiring extra subsidy. However, Transport Scotland, the Scottish Government agency responsible for transport, presumes against new intermediate stations unless they are strategic in nature because of a claimed impact on journey times between major urban areas!
Ask this question: why in the name of a few supposed minutes, should the prosperity, industriousness and well-being of smaller towns and country areas across the nation, including Newburgh and Abernethy, be sidelined and further neglected when sustainable economic regeneration should be the order of the day? Support the Newburgh Train Station Campaign and ask this question in letters to councillors, MSPs, MPs, as well as to as many newspaper editors as you can.
If you are interested in supporting the campaign in some way then please feel free to contact the Newburgh Train Station Campaign at the following: Newburgh Train Station Campaign c/o Nigel Mullan, 151A High Street, Newburgh, KY14 6DY - 01337 840415/email: firstname.lastname@example.org, or email: email@example.com
During the spring and summer this year the campaign will attempt to deepen the household survey conducted by Sustainable Newburgh in 2010-2011 and reach every household, census style to ask about what kind of use they would make of the station as well as obtaining signatures with the view of amassing a petition, which if necessary will be forwarded to the Scottish Parliament’s Public Petitions Committee as a formal public petition. The campaign would also like to extend this to Abernethy and seeks help and advice from members of the community in ways to achieve this.