– in the Scottish Parliament on 23rd January 2019.
2. To ask the Scottish Government what progress has been made in advancing the case and funding for a new Levenmouth rail link. (S5O-02790)
Transport Scotland is leading the transport appraisal work for the Levenmouth sustainable transport study, in close collaboration with Fife Council. The findings from the transport appraisal work will identify whether there is a rationale for progressing the Levenmouth rail link.
Since I last spoke in Parliament about the study, the initial appraisal report has been published and stakeholders were updated on the findings of the report at sessions last November. Stakeholders continue to be updated monthly by email and with information on Transport Scotland’s website.
The draft preliminary options appraisal report, which includes rail link options, is being reviewed by Transport Scotland and Fife Council. The final stage is the detailed appraisal, the timescale for which very much depends on the outcome of the current stage.
I welcome the progress that is now being made, and I hope that we will see that progress continue. There is strong community support for the proposal and recognition of the economic and social opportunities that the rail link would bring. Is the cabinet secretary willing to meet the community organisation that is behind the campaign and come to Levenmouth? I understand that he is meeting one of the constituency MSPs today to discuss the issue, but will he come to Levenmouth?
The one thing that those people are clear about is that this should be—
—a non-partisan campaign, so will the cabinet secretary come and meet that organisation?
I have already given agreement to the constituency member’s request to visit Levenmouth. Last week, when I was in Fife, I was approached by a member of the Levenmouth rail campaign. When I was asked whether I would visit, I confirmed that I was more than happy to do so.
I recognise the cross-party support for the proposal. No doubt we will, as the work is taken forward, be able to identify the best option to progress it.
Like Alex Rowley, I have an invitation to put to the cabinet secretary. Will he come to my constituency to meet members of the Levenmouth rail campaign and see the potential economic benefits that a rail link would bring to what is an area of high deprivation?