19 April 2016

Community Group Move Rail Campaign Forward

By Bryan

The 1970’s is when Bonnybridge saw the last train station in the town close. Since then there have been numerous attempts at bringing one back with no success. Parties and politicians over the years have used it as a way to score points in local elections, but there has been little or no movement forward.

In 2002, the Council Administration of the time, put forward plans for a train station; then later in 2013 with a change in direction of the council’s administration a Pre-STAG report was established. This made the case for a train station in Bonnybridge and Grangemouth. This report supported what the residents already knew, that a train station would benefit the community.

However the train station has not materialised, nor has the Scottish Transport Appraisal Guidance (STAG) Report needed to move forward, with many reasons given that are inaccurate. Even when it comes up in Council meetings it has never been supported by the ruling administration of the day.
In late 2015, a discussion was started on The Bonnybridge Banter page, with many people supporting a train station. This led to a community group being formed with the sole goal of encouraging and promoting the need of a STAG report for Bonnybridge. After a meeting in March, it was agreed to have a second public meeting with guest speakers to explain the case as it is now.

A second meeting was held with Railfuture; Newburgh Train Station Group and Alison Lowe, the Managing Director of Alexander Taylor, a local Estate Agent, explaining the benefits to the community and the impact on house prices if a train station was re-established. The meeting was well attended by many residents who left feeling enthused at the prospect of a new train station.

The meeting also saw the establishment of a working group to move forward with the many plans. A Board was nominated under the guidance of RailFuture and the elected positions were as follows:.

Chairs: Bryan Deakin and David Keenan
Secretary: Fiona Collie
Treasurer: James Nash

Bryan Deakin one of the newly elected chairs states, “This is a positive step forward for Bonnybridge. Now we have a community group, we can apply some pressure in finally getting a STAG report done.”

Five members were also elected as ordinary members to help move the group forward. The working group will now meet in a few weeks to plan the next steps. If you would like any more information or to be involved, please email bonnybridgerailway@gmail.com