Tuesday 11 Apr 2006


Region & Route:
Scotland’s Railway: Scotland
At a public meeting tonight, John Swinney MSP, Scottish Water and Network Rail will outline plans to connect the villages of Blair Atholl and Bridge of Tilt to the mains water supply. Network Rail proposes to pick up the £1.2 million bill for Scottish Water to connect the villages to the public water mains, after 95 years of being supplied by a private, railway-run system. For almost a century, more than 230 households, businesses and schools in Blair Atholl and Bridge of Tilt have been supplied with water from a private supply maintained by the railway. This is a historic anomaly, dating back to an era when steam trains stopped at Blair Atholl for water. Network Rail’s Director, Ron McAulay said: “Just as Network Rail is best placed to run Britain’s railway, it seems clear to us that Scottish Water is best placed to supply Blair Atholl and Bridge of Tilt with their water. Network Rail proposes to fund Scottish Water to connect the villages to the public mains, ensuring both communities can tap into Scotland’s 21st century water supply.” John Swinney, MSP, who will chair tonight’s meeting, said: “I warmly welcome the initiative by Network Rail to improve the water supply for Blair Atholl residents, who still get their water supply from the railway facility. This issue has caused real concern for many years and I have been active in trying to resolve this. The main obstacle has always been the cost but this intervention by Network Rail addresses that point. I encourage local residents to take up the offer. This will undoubtedly improve the quality of life of many of my constituents and will be a great boost to water quality.”

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