Dumfries and Galloway has once again been labelled by Labour politicians a forgotten region after the Scottish Government announced that nearly 60 railway stations would be spruced up as part of a £5.27m investment - but none in Dumfries and Galloway.
Although the Government state the investment, due to be completed by 2014, is aimed at stations that are the gateway to the Commonwealth Games and Ryder Cup, stations on the list include Oban in Argyll and Bute; Porthlethen in Aberdeenshire, Keith in Moray and Saltcoats in Ayrshire - but stations such as Stranraer, which serves the ferry port of Cairnryan, are excluded. The investment is in addition to £2 million already allocated to Commonwealth Games stations.
Dumfries and Galloway MP Russell Brown said: “The Scottish Government claim this money is targeted at stations near the venues for major sporting events in 2014 but I’m not sure who will be arriving at Oban station in the Highlands to go to the Commonwealth Games, or Porthlethen in Aberdeenshire to attend the Ryder Cup. Yet Stranraer Railway Station, which is in desperate need of improvement and which is just a few miles from the ferryport in Cairnryan has been excluded. There has been a serious lack of investment in railways in our region over a number of years. That’s why services from places like Stranraer and Dumfries to the central belt are so slow. Now it seems our railway stations are to suffer the same lack of resources whilst every other regions shares in new investment. As usual Dumfries and Galloway is the forgotten region when it comes to the Scottish Government”.