I'm staggered a new train station for Edinburgh commuters was blocked - John McLellan

For clues about why Edinburgh’s transport and housing crisis may never be solved, look over the city boundary to Winchburgh.

By John McLellan
Thursday, 7th April 2022, 9:08 pm
The new village at Winchburgh will have 5,000 homes - but residents won't be afforded a train station. PIC: Contributed.
The new village at Winchburgh will have 5,000 homes - but residents won't be afforded a train station. PIC: Contributed.

As part of the Edinburgh City Region Deal, the village will be surrounded by the development of some 5,000 new homes and a new slip road onto the M9 is now being constructed.

But it emerged this week that plans for a new railway station are in doubt when West Lothian Council officials revealed that Transport Scotland, the Scottish Government’s agency, prevented them from making a rail stop a condition of the housing development.

This means that those living in what will effectively be an Edinburgh dormitory will have to rely on already congested roads to get to work, even if their commutes are less frequent because of working from home.

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It is quite staggering that with all the SNP’s talk both locally and nationally of hitting what are already unachievable climate change targets, that something as basic as building a railway station for what will effectively be a new town is being stymied by the national transport agency.

As Edinburgh Council has no chance of hitting its housing targets, as always it needs expansion in the surrounding council areas to meet demand, and that means infrastructure investment if they are going to function as sustainable communities.

Surely Net Zero, Energy and Transport secretary Michael Matheson can get his head together with his colleague at Social Justice, Housing and Local Government Shona Robison to sort this out.

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