Liberal Democrat Jane Ann Liston talks about extending railway to St Andrews

Jane Ann Liston on rail campaignThis weekend, the Borders railway gets back underway again. This is a real achievement of the Scottish Liberal Democrats in government in Scotland. The Bill was passed way back in 2006.

We’ll be writing about this more as the first journeys take place on Sunday, but BBC Scotland has done a feature about how the success of the Borders project has inspired other railways campaigners. They interviewed Jane Ann Liston, a regular commenter on this site. She plays a significant role in the StARlink campaign which wants to see the five miles of track from Leuchars to St Andrews reinstated. See what she had to say here

The StARlink campaign says that the combination of tourists, students, golfers and commuters would make the railway viable and bring economic benefit to the area.

My husband grew up in St Andrews in the 1950s so he has a very strong memory of the trains there – steam engines when he was a small boy. He is very supportive of the thought of the railway returning but he wants it to be a useful service that takes you all the way through Fife and Tayside rather than just down to Leuchars to get a connection to somewhere else.

* Caron Lindsay is Editor of Liberal Democrat Voice and blogs at Caron's Musings

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  • Foregone Conclusion 4th Sep '15 - 9:08pm

    I had the pleasure of briefly visiting some of the Borders Railway sites this time last year, as they were starting to lay the track. Even to a non-local, it was clear that it was driving a lot of new housing and potentially offered big economic benefits. A project for our MPs, MSPs and Councillors to be proud of – and Lord Steel, who I think I’m right in saying fought his by-election on restoring the line!

  • @ Foregone Conclusion.

    Actually David fought the closure four years after he was elected.

    Yes, as a Councillor in the Borders I can tell you it’s been a long and wearisome campaign and to be fair to the SNP they picked up the Liberal initiative. The big disappointment is that it stops just after Gala and doesn’t go on to Carlisle…. maybe one day it will.

    The Tory MSP John Lamont has played an opportunist ducks and drakes game condemning it on cost grounds in the east but giving it lip service in the west.

    St Andrews (of which my wife is an alumni) is a very obvious case for a railway with the University, the golf and tourism, and is a much lesser challenge than the Borders. Republican as I may be, it might be politic to enlist William and Kate in the campaign.

  • Steve Deller 5th Sep '15 - 10:40am

    Having campaigned on this since the first Scottish Parliament elections, I’m looking forward to arriving on this service on my next visit to Galashiels in November.

  • We need a comprehensive policy on rail transport – many routes are overcrowded, ridiculously expensive with a pricing system that is over-complicated. It’s £95 single from Bath to Paddington if you leave at peak time, for a journey often plagued by signal failures and other delays. Rail travel is environmentally friendly and we need more towns connected to the rail network with roads at gridlock now in places.

  • @ Judy Abel “We need a comprehensive policy on rail transport” Well, if anybody up there is listening :

    YOU GOV Opinion Poll , By 60-20% British people support re-nationalising the railways so they are run in the public sector rather than by private companies. Liberal Democrat voters, Labour and Ukip all support the idea.

    LIBERAL DEMOCRAT 60-18% LABOUR 78-6% UKIP 70-22% CONSERVATIVES divided 42-42%.

  • Jane Ann Liston 5th Sep '15 - 12:20pm

    Thanks, Caron. If your husband or anybody else interested takes a look at the StARLink site, and in particular the Tata report:

    he’ll see that the proposal is for direct trains from St Andrews to Dundee and to Edinburgh, with no changing at Leuchars required.

  • @ David. People used to complain about British Rail, but I don’t things are really any better now. Renationalisation should definitely be considered based on an evidence-based assessment of our transport needs.

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