Long-awaited Winchburgh railway station would take 1600 cars off clogged Edinburgh roads

The station could take 1658 cars off roads and ease congestion, a report has found.
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A long-awaited railway station in Winchburgh would stop cars pouring into Edinburgh and clogging up busy roads.

As part of a new campaign support for a station in the fast-expanding community is ramping up, after a report has found a station in the West Lothian town would take an estimated 1,658 cars a day off roads.

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Local businesses and community figures back proposals for a station which could see 419,490 fewer car journeys annually, provide 15 minute journeys to Edinburgh.and "direct benefits" to passengers worth £2.4 million a year.

A train station in the fast-growing town would ease congestionA train station in the fast-growing town would ease congestion
A train station in the fast-growing town would ease congestion

It follows warnings that without a station, commuters will be left with little option but to use their car to get to work in the Capital, generating extra traffic, increasing congestion and undermining efforts to combat pollution and reduce emissions to net zero by 2030.

Winchburgh, until recently a village of just 2,000 people, is due to grow to a population of more than 12,000 over the next decade. Many new homes have already been built, along with two new secondary schools and a primary school.

But a previous attempt by West Lothian Council to make a new railway station a condition of planning permission was blocked by Scottish Government agency Transport Scotland.

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Winchburgh Developments, which commissioned the report, said the station would bring "significant economic and environmental benefits" to locals and the Lothian region.

John Hamilton, Chief Executive said: “A new train station requires multiple partners to come together to make it work and ultimately it can only proceed with a decision by Transport Scotland, Network Rail and other public sector agencies. 

“This report demonstrates that a new rail connection for Winchburgh would bring significant economic and environmental benefits to the local community and the wider Lothian region. In recent years, we have seen many communities across Scotland benefit from new rail connections – now, it’s Winchburgh’s turn.”

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Winchburgh Developments Ltd said it has already invested more than £50m in transport upgrades, with no public sector contribution to those costs. 

As part of the campaign, the local community are being asked to show their support for a new train station by writing to their local MSPs. The campaign has received cross-party support from local councillors, and from the wider community.

Councillor Diane Calder, SNP said it is ‘imperative’ that a train station be delivered for Winchburgh.

Graham Campbell, chair of the local community council, said: “Opening Winchburgh up to the rail network would also provide easier access for the community to visit Glasgow or Stirling, and allow people from further away to experience all that Winchburgh has to offer.”

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A new train station has been a key feature of the Winchburgh masterplan since planning permission in principle was awarded in 2012. Discussions on a new station have been ‘ongoing’ between developers, Network Rail, Scotrail, and Transport Scotland for years.

Winchburgh Developments Ltd have called on the Scottish Government to establish a working group and set a date for the opening of a new station. Mr Hamilton added: “We have an opportunity to make real progress, and we are asking the Scottish Government to convene a Working Group of the public and private sector stakeholders who can deliver a new station for Winchburgh. To set a date for opening of a new station at Winchburgh would focus minds on realising the significant economic and environmental benefits that a rail connection will deliver.”

The report ‘A vision for a new rail connection for Winchburgh’ was based on an assessment conducted by specialists Syntra.

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