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AMBER LIGHT TO LARKHALL-MILNGAVIE RAIL LINK

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Sarah Boyack, minister for transport and planning, has signalled the amber light for a£23m rail link between Larkh...
Sarah Boyack, minister for transport and planning, has signalled the amber light for a£23m rail link between Larkhall and Milngavie.

Ms Boyack said:

'I am pleased to announce that today the Scottish executive have done everything to make the rail link to Larkhall happen. This is a major boost for transport in the West of Scotland and demonstrates the Scottish executive's clear commitment to improving our public transport networks.

'The new rail link will also provide a major boost to Larkhall, linking the town more closely to the economic growth of central Glasgow and promoting our key social inclusion agenda.

'We are taking this project forward in partnership with Strathclyde Passenger Transport. Jointly we will provide the£23m to build the link. This is an excellent example of central government and a local transport authority working together to deliver real choice to travellers.

'This has been a complex project to deliver and there are still a couple of contractual issues to resolve but I am confident that the Scottish executive, SPT, Railtrack and ScotRail can work together constructively to deliver this valuable project.'

BACKGROUND

The Larkhall link will provide a half hourly service between Larkhall and Glasgow Central. The services will run on to Hyndland and Milngavie doubling the frequency of daytime service between Milngavie and Glasgow Central to four trains an hour.

The link involves re-opening the Larkhall line re-opening the 4.7 km Larkhall Line from Haughhead Junction south of Hamilton Central to Larkhall and extending the Northern Suburban line to Anniesland from Maryhill with an additional station at Dawsholm.

Strathclyde Passenger Transport will seek developer contributions towards new stations at Chatelherault and Merryton.

The Scottish executive received SPT's comprehensive full business case on 16 May and has been discussing the complex issues contained in the business case with SPT and Railtrack. Agreement has now been reached on almost all aspects of the project.

There are two issues still to be resolved. Firstly, any new extension to the rail network will affect the performance regime under which Railtrack and ScotRail operate: this technical issue will be resolved by negotiation between Railtrack, SPT, the Scottish executive and the strategic rail authority before a final deal is approved by the rail regulator. Secondly, the exact timing of signalling work will be agreed between SPT, Railtrack and Railtrack's contractor as part of the final contract negotiation.

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