Greens call for rail expansion

Scottish Greens are calling on communities across Scotland to apply for new local rail funding to help tackle the climate emergency.

The £2 million Local Rail Development Fund – secured by the Greens in the 2018/19 Scottish budget – helps local communities develop proposals for new railway lines or to reopen stations. It aims to increase passenger numbers, connect communities and reduce emissions. Nine projects were awarded money from the fund’s first round, including proposals to reopen branch lines to St Andrews, Fife and Haddington, East Lothian.

The funding opportunity will be highlighted this afternoon (29 May 2019) in a Scottish Parliament debate, led by Mark Ruskell MSP, on expanding Scotland’s railways.  Mr Ruskell will argue that growing the railway network can have a key role in slashing transport emissions in Scotland, which have gone up by 5% over the last five years according to most recent national transport figures.

Mark Ruskell MSP said: “In the face of a climate emergency it’s vital we act to reduce transport emissions, which is one area where the Scottish Government has been told by its own advisers that it’s not doing enough.

“The Greens’ Local Rail Development Fund is already helping communities across Scotland to reconnect their local areas with the wider rail network. We’re urging others to join them and be part of a major expansion of Scotland’s railways to tackle the climate crisis.”

The deadline for applications to the fund, which has £1.3 million still available, is 28 June 2019.