Tuesday 22 Jan 2008
AIRDRIE-BATHGATE PROJECT BEGINS COMPULSORY PURCHASE PROCESS
- Region & Route:
Scotland’s Railway: Scotland
Network Rail has started the process of Compulsory Purchase with the publication of a list of land which it intends to acquire to allow the construction and operation of the new Airdrie-Bathgate Rail Link.
The 1,100 plots of land, in locations along the proposed route through North Lanarkshire, West Lothian, and the City of Edinburgh include a combination of permanent and temporary land possessions.
All of the most significantly affected landowners have previously been contacted by Network Rail, however the company has now written to all land and property owners to present formal notices of the intention to purchase.
The serving of pre-General Vesting Declaration (GVD) notices marks the start of the formal process seeking to transfer land ownership and rights in land along the route to Network Rail. Some properties have already been acquired through an Advance Purchase Scheme.
It is anticipated that all the necessary land will be transferred to Network Rail by summer 2008 and construction work on the main section of the new line between Bathgate and Airdrie will begin in the autumn. Survey work along the route, essential for informing the detailed design for the railway, is already underway.
Ron McAulay, Network Rail’s Director, Scotland commented:
“As part of the Airdrie-Bathgate Railway and Linked Improvements Act, which was unanimously passed by the Scottish Parliament last year, we must publish the full list of plots of land that we intend to buy through the compulsory purchase powers at our disposal.
“In the cases of the most seriously affected land owners, we have been in regular contact over the last few years and explained the need to purchase their land.
“This stage of the project can be difficult for the individuals and communities affected but we have done everything we can to keep them informed about the new rail line and explain the compulsory purchase process. It brings us another step closer to re-establishing a rail link through North Lanarkshire and West Lothian “
Four community meetings have been arranged by Network Rail to help explain the compulsory purchase scheme and help answer related questions:
Monday 21 January, 6.30-8.30pm: Plains Community Hall, Main Street, Plains
Wednesday 23 January, 4-8pm: Gartlea Community Centre, Hillfoot Road, Airdrie
Tuesday 29 January, 4-8pm: The Fairway Hotel, Edinburgh Road, Bathgate
Thursday 31 January, 6.30-8.30pm: St Mary’s Primary School, Elswick Drive, Caldercruix
Advanced work for the new rail link began in June 2007 with work taking place along the Bathgate branch line, including extensive track replacement, soil excavation and the removal and replacement of five bridges.
Notes to editorsThe Airdrie-Bathgate Rail Link is a £300 million project funded by Transport Scotland which will re-establish a rail link and provide passenger transport services through central Scotland. The line will connect local communities not currently served by public transport to Edinburgh in the east and Glasgow in the west. This will provide access to important employment, education, health and leisure opportunities as well as promoting a sustainable transport alternative.
The Airdrie-Bathgate Railway and Linked Improvements Act 2007 received Royal Assent in May 2007 following the Scottish Parliament's unanimous cross-party support for the project.
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