EGIP: Transport Minister failed to rule out Polmaise in rail debate

In a Scottish Parliament debate last Wednesday on the Scottish Government cuts to the EGIP programme, Labour’s Dr Richard Simpson MSP formally called on the Transport Minister to finally rule out any consideration of siting a stabling yard at Polmaise should one be needed in the Stirling area in future, whenever it is to be ‘rephased’.

Dr Richard Simpson MSP said in the Parliamentary debate:
“However, let us look on the positive side. Bruce Crawford—who, I am sorry to see, has left the chamber—was able to tell his constituents that the cuts would mean an end to the Polmaise site for the stabling yard. Network Rail has confirmed that and it is good news for the residents of Pike Road in Stirling. Will the minister use his summing-up speech to confirm that that matter has been put to rest once and for all?”

Local Labour Stirling East ward Councillor Danny Gibson, Portfolio Holder for Environment, Transport and Public Land stated:

“This issue is so vital for the Stirling area that I myself visited the Parliament to watch the debate from the public gallery. It was extremely disappointing that the Transport Minister Keith Brown MSP completely failed to take this opportunity to publicly rule out Polmiase as a potential yard site and put it beyond any future doubt.
At a recent meeting with Stirling Council, officials from Transport Scotland confirmed to the Council that it will not be considered in the future. Therefore I have no idea why the Minister is so reluctant to confirm this himself for the record, as frankly this is the least that the local community deserves. I will be writing to the Minister to seek confirmation.”

Councillor Gibson also commented on last weeks news article saying:

“I noticed fellow Stirling East ward SNP Councillor Steven Paterson commented in the press last week that he is confident of the information he has been given only verbally by Keith Brown. Therefore I would hope Cllr Paterson would have no problem in supporting the call for the Minister to make his position clear in writing and end this issue once and for all.”

Dr Richard Simpson MSP said after the debate:
“I was extremely disappointed to see Stirling MSP Bruce Crawford leave the chamber shortly after the Ministers speech and he was therefore absent for most of the debate. Further he did not even speak in the debate where he could have taken the chance to stand up for Stirling, particularly since he no longer has the excuse of being a Government Minister. However he did find time later in the day to vote with the Government to effectively endorse SNP rail cuts for Stirling.”