Community rail group could be Scottish blueprint

The Community Rail Partnership for the Ayr to Stranraer line, SAYLSA, could be used as a blueprint for the future of the railways in Scotland.

The group has welcomed Transport Minister Keith Brown’s statement at Holyrood on the future of rail in Scotland.

Mr Brown said: “The Scottish Government recognises the role communities place on the railways and their willingness to play a part in the railway and wishes to see that enthusiasm harnessed and promoted.

“Therefore it will encourage the creation of local community rail partnerships and will require the industry to work with these partnerships to establish facilities and services that address local needs.”

Bob Hill, acting chair of SAYLSA, said “We welcome this development from the Scottish Government and as pioneers for community rail in Scotland look forward to adapting the benefits so far achieved in England and Wales to the Scottish market. We will be working with Transport Scotland to help deliver a first class rail partnership for Carrick and Wigtownshire.”

SAYLSA celebrates its fifth year in September and for a third sector organisation its record is impressive having delivered well over £1m of benefit to Carrick and Wigtownshire alone since starting in 2007.

The organisation is a key partner of the Stranraer to Ayr Line Strategy Group, which is working with the local communities, the two regional transport partnerships and the rail industry to bring about a more positive outcome for the Stranraer line.