Thursday 21 Sep 2017
Consultation on the future of West Lothian station set to close
Network Rail has called on final submissions into a 12 week consultation on the future of Breich station prior to the consultation closure on Monday, October 2.
Views are being sought from rail users, the local community and other interested parties into the potential closure of the station. Network Rail is conducting the consultation on behalf of Transport Scotland, who will make the final decision on the future of the station once the consultation report has been submitted.
The unmanned West Lothian station is currently served by one train service per day in each direction, six days a week. The official patronage figure for the station in 2015-16 was 138 passengers, an average of 2.6 passengers per week.
The station lies on the Shotts route, connecting Edinburgh and Glasgow Central station. The route is currently undergoing modernisation as part of a programme of electrification. Network Rail estimates that a saving of £1.4million could be made if the Scottish Government opted to close the station rather than modernise.
Breich is located between Addiewell to the east and Fauldhouse to the west. Both towns are served by railway stations. Addiewell station is two miles from Breich while Fauldhouse station is 2.9 miles away.
David Dickson, infrastructure director for the ScotRail Alliance, which includes Network Rail, said: “We have held two drop-in sessions in the local community, sent letters to residents and have advertised this consultation widely. We want to ensure that anyone with an interest in the station has the opportunity to air their views before a consultation report is submitted to Transport Scotland for consideration.
“Network Rail takes pride in the role it has played in growing Scotland’s Railway in recent years. Where there is proof of demand, such as the Airdrie-Bathgate route and along the Borders Railway, we have actively supported the opening of new stations and the reopening of old ones.
“As a responsible steward of the railway and a publicly run organisation, it is also Network Rail’s responsibility to ensure that we consider value for money in relation to the operation of station and rail services. The current and projected demand for rail services to and from Breich is very low, so closure of the station must be considered as an option.”
Residents of Breich have been consulted directly via two letter drops and two public drop-in events. A consultation document has been produced to help fully explain the rationale for considering closure. This can be downloaded at the following link: www.networkrail.co.uk/breichstation
Printed copies can be requested by emailing: email@example.com or by writing to Breich Station Consultation, Community Relations, Network Rail, 151-153 St Vincent Street, Glasgow, G2 5NW.
The consultation period will close on Monday 02 October 2017. On completion, a final report will be produced by Network Rail on behalf of Transport Scotland. The Office of Rail and Road (ORR) will confirm that the consultation complies with its guidance before the final decision on the station’s future is made by Transport Scotland.
Responses to the proposal should be sent to: firstname.lastname@example.org or Breich Station Consultation, Community Relations, Network Rail, 151-153 St Vincent Street, Glasgow, G2 5NW.
Submissions should be made no later than October 2, 2017.
About Network Rail
Network Rail owns, manages and develops Britain's railway - the 20,000 miles of track, 40,000 bridges and viaducts and the thousands of signals, level crossings and stations (the largest of which we also run). In partnership with train operators we help people take more than 1.65bn journeys by rail every year and move hundreds of millions of tonnes of freight, saving almost 8m lorry journeys. We employ 38,000 people across Britain and work round-the-clock, each and every day, to provide a safe, reliable railway.
About the Railway Upgrade Plan
The Railway Upgrade Plan is Network Rail's investment plan for Britain's railways. It makes up two-thirds of Network Rail's £40bn spending priorities for the five years to 2019 and represents the biggest sustained programme of rail modernisation since the Victoria era. It is designed to provide more capacity, relieve crowding and respond to the tremendous growth Britain's railways continue to experience; passenger numbers have doubled in the past 20 years and are set to double again over the next 25 years - so we need to continue to invest in building a bigger, better railway. For passengers, that means:
- longer, faster more frequent trains;
- better, more reliable infrastructure; and
- better facilities for passengers, especially at stations.