A Fife MP has stepped in to ongoing dialogue over accessibility funding for Burntisland, warning against “setting false expectations”.
Lesley Laird’s intervention comes after David Torrance MSP recently rubbished Cllr Kathleen Leslie’s calls for “greater clarity” over the way communities apply for UK-wide Access For All funding.
The MP for Kirkcaldy and Cowdenbeath is due to meet stakeholders in Burntisland next week to discuss details of her meeting with Transport Scotland – the body responsible for drawing up a final shortlist for Scotland.
Lesley said: “I wholeheartedly supported Burntisland’s latest application for Access for All funding but feedback afterwards from Transport Scotland suggested our chances of success were slim.
“I requested an urgent meeting to discuss my concerns and the sad reality is there are significantly more stations which meet the criteria ahead of Burntisland on a priority list of stations across Scotland.
“That’s not a fact which is palatable to me or those passionately campaigning for full accessibility at Burntisland station, but it’s the truth, plain and simple.
“Scotland shortlist for a UK fund which comes around every five years and based on my discussions with Transport Scotland we’ve more chance of getting a Brexit deal done than getting full access at Burntisland.
“It was evident that due to the rail line being the main rail route north, the logistics of undertaking this work will undoubtedly cause severe disruption.
“It would be disingenuous of anyone to raise false expectations by claiming Access for All funding will fix Burntisland station’s accessibility issues soon.
“That’s why I’m meeting stakeholders next week to discuss this matter in more detail and to consider what other realistic options could now be looked at to help the community reach a longed-for solution.”