Conservatives calling for officer to give ‘oomph’ to rail campaign

© George McLuskie
Campaigners who have been calling for a rail link

Conservative councillors are calling for an expert project officer to inject some “much-needed oomph” into Fife Council’s campaign for a Levenmouth Rail Link.

The Tory group wants to hire a dedicated Levenmouth rail link officer at £75,000 per year as part of its budget proposals, to be debated on Thursday.

Graham Ritchie, councillor for Leven, Kennoway and Largo, said: “Unfortunately the Scottish Government appears to have kicked this project into the long grass, and although Fife Council makes all the right sounds, it has been less than dynamic in getting it moving.

“Levenmouth campaigners have told us that key to the successful campaign for the Borders rail link was a dedicated rail expert employed by the council to bring focus and push to their campaign.

© Supplied
Councillor Linda Holt

“Unless the Scottish Government sees Fife Council committing 100% to the Levenmouth rail link, they won’t run with it either.

“This is why we are now proposing the council makes a concrete commitment – a dedicated rail expert backed by a cross-party council working group – to give the Levenmouth rail campaign the boost it so urgently needs.”

Glenrothes North, Leslie and Markinch councillor Mick Green added: “Everyone knows that the single, most effective way to regenerate Levenmouth and the surrounding area – economically, socially and environmentally – is to reinstate the rail link.

“It was left out of the Edinburgh and South East Scotland City Region Deal and if the administration budget goes through unamended, Fife Council will miss another opportunity to progress this project.”

Linda Holt, councillor for East Neuk and Landward, said: “Much of north-east Fife is also affected by the poor transport infrastructure which blights development in Levenmouth.

“A rail link would relieve much of the congestion on the A915.

“Economic development should be top of the agenda for a council committed to tackling poverty and inequality.

“It’s time Labour and SNP leaders at Fife Council put their money where their mouths are.”

The proposal is part of an amendment by the Conservative Group to the administration’s budget which will be decided at Thursday’s Fife Council meeting.