Page last updated at 11:51 GMT, Thursday, 18 December 2008

Alloa to Rosyth link considered

Alloa Train Station
The rail link re-opened in May after a break of 40 years

Transport bosses are to consider extending Alloa's new rail link 20 miles east to Rosyth.

The South East Scotland Transport Partnerhship (SESTran) is set to embark upon a feasibility study in early 2009.

Clackmannanshire Council said the study would gauge demand for the extension and look at the benefits it would bring to the area.

The study will form part of a larger project to assess the viability of linking the Alloa line with Edinburgh.

A recent survey into the Alloa service, which runs to Stirling, found it was exceeding expectations.

SESTRan said the new rail link was expected to be used by more than 400,000 people a year - twice the original estimate of 155,000 passengers.

'Stimulate development'

Clackmannanshire councillor Eddie Carrick, the authority's sustainability portfolio holder, said: "It has been the council's long term ambition for some time that the passenger service will eventually go on to Rosyth and Dunfermline.

"A transport system that takes people and goods from the east to the west coast would have huge benefits for the whole of east central Scotland."

Mr Carrick said he would be writing to the transport minister urging the government to get behind the project.

He added: "I have read that there is to be a new container terminal at Rosyth which would lead to more heavy goods vehicles in the Kincardine area.

"If we are serious about climate change and reducing our carbon footprint then we should be looking at putting freight onto the railway and at the same time allowing commuters to do a round trip from Stirling, Alloa, Rosyth, Dunfermline and Edinburgh.

"When you land at a port in mainland Europe there is always a connecting passenger railway line. This extension would also stimulate development in the east of Scotland."

The Alloa service was re-opened to passengers on 19 May after a break of 40 years.

Work to restore the line involved the reinstatement of 13-miles of existing, disused and abandoned railway line between Stirling and Longannet Power Station in Kincardine.

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