Transport Minister to hear Stranraer rail woes

SCOTTISH Transport Minister Keith Brown is set to visit Stranraer next week for talks about the future of the town’s railway line.

He will meet Dumfries and Galloway MP Russell Brown and South of Scotland MSP Claudia Beamish on Monday and hear the concerns and anxieties of local people.

Mr Brown said there was a real sense of urgency about the issue, as Stena Line have now started using Ayr train station rather than Stranraer as their rail interchange for foot passengers. However, Stena Line has indicated that they would give serious consideration to using Stranraer if services from the station are improved.

He said: “There is a real sense of urgency about the future of Stranraer railway station now that Stena have moved out of the town. We will be looking for the SNP Government to commit to investing in Stranraer railway station to ensure it is safeguarded for the future. It is rather disappointing we have had to drag the Transport Minister to Stranraer after his initial refusal. His reluctance to visit, along with the Scottish Government’s plans for a two tier railway at our expense, makes people question the SNP’s commitment to our area.”

Last month the SNP Government published their plans for Scotland’s railways following the new franchise in 2014 and Dumfries and Mr Brown warned they risked creating a “two tier railway” where investment is directed to the central belt at the expense of areas like Dumfries and Galloway.