Reopened capital rail link could ‘bring many benefits’ for Perthshire communities, says MSP

There are fresh calls to step up moves for a direct rail link between Perth and Edinburgh.

Mid Scotland and Fife MSP Liz Smith said a feasibility study must be brought forward to examine the cost of the link through Fife to the Fair City.

The Conservative politician has claimed the Scottish Government reneged on a promise made in 2008 to cut the rail time between the capital and Perth by 2012.

The move would involve reopening the train station at Kinross closed when the M90 motorway was built and Transport Minister Keith Brown has been urged to visit the town to meet campaigners.

Transform Scotland, the national alliance for sustainable transport, has already mooted the possible direct rail link, claiming it could cut at least 30 minutes off the commute between the two cities.

Ms Smith told The Courier she feels the direct rail link could prove a massive boon to the economies of communities through which it would pass.

She said: “The reopening a direct rail link could bring many benefits, not only to the local economy in Perthshire and Fife but also in delivering an improved high speed rail network north of the central belt.

“As the Transport Minister will know from his time as an MSP representing Kinross-shire and when he was the SNP candidate and was very keen to support the reopening of a station at Kinross, much of the proposed route alignment is still in existence.

“A four-mile tunnelled section would be required to avoid the M90 and Glenfarg.”

Ms Smith said she has written to Mr Brown to ask him to meet Kinross residents and hopes this will convince him to consider a new feasibility study to look into the cost of the rail proposal.

A spokesman for the Scottish Government said: “Transport Scotland has already suggested to Transform Scotland that they work with the regional transport partnerships on a new feasibility study to look at all transport modes on the Edinburgh to Perth corridor and we await their response.

“Our £5 billion commitment to rail infrastructure and services is addressing decades of neglect on the railways throughout Scotland and we remain committed to delivering a 35-minute journey time reduction between Inverness and the Central Belt.

“Due to the complexity and cost of the Highland main line project, it has always been Scottish Ministers’ intention to complete the scheme in phases.”