Fife Council fears Network Rail could be planning to shelve plans for a much anticipated visitor centre at the Forth Bridge.
Railway company bosses have so far failed to agree to a meeting with the council’s deputy leader Lesley Laird, to discuss the future of the proposed Forth Bridge Visitor Experience.
The local authority and business leaders have already voiced serious concerns that the huge potential of the Forth Bridge as a World Heritage Site could be left untapped.
While Network Rail has said it is still consulting on the project and that funding is in place to develop a business case, Mrs Laird has called for chief executive Mark Carne to confirm the company’s position.
She has the support of business leader Stephen Doran, who is chairman of the Fife Economy Partnership.
Mrs Laird said Network Rail had failed to respond to requests for a meeting, despite stating the Forth Bridge is a hugely important asset for Scotland.
“This is completely unacceptable considering the economic significance of this for Fife,” she said.
“The bridge, its importance as a national and international tourist attraction, a sustainable mode of travel and as a historic landmark must not be undermined and its contribution to Fife should not be sidelined.”
Fife Council and local businesses believe the World Heritage inscription of the Forth Bridge has the potential to generate significant economic opportunities, particularly in the tourism sector.
Mrs Laird added: “It is vital that the viewing platform and visitor centre are built to further attract visitors, increase employment and grow tourist spend in the kingdom.
“I called for action on establishing a multi-agency approach to ensure the timely delivery of the North Queensferry-based visitor centre.
“So far, that request has been ignored.”
She said it was “unthinkable” that the business case for designs for both north and south of the Forth was not being discussed with the council.
“The World Heritage inscribed bridge provides a gateway to the north of Scotland, raising the profile of Fife as a destination,” she said.
“There are clear opportunities for tourism growth in North and South Queensferry, along with the potential to develop the bridge as a visitor attraction.
“I am therefore urging Network Rail to do the decent thing and come and meet with us now.”
A spokesman for Network Rail said previously that the company would contact Fife Council directly to discuss any concerns.