Please read this page for current news, updates and context.  If it gives you ideas for ways you could be involved on a personal basis then come along to one of our meetings to discuss this or email


Newburgh, 27th January.

Wendy Chamberlain MP met with a fabulous turn out of campaign supporters at the Lindores Abbey Distillery on a Saturday afternoon to speak about her plans to meet the UK Minister for Rail and HS2 in mid February this year to discuss what support may be available from the UK Government for the Newburgh Railway Station re-instatement. The Dundee Courier covered the event and the campaign’s efforts with photos:


14th December.

Wendy Chamberlain MP asked a question of the Secretary of State for Transport in the Westminster Parliament.
Wendy Chamberlain  (North East Fife) (LD)
T4. Earlier this year, the UK Government pledged to fund a bridge repair in the constituency of the hon. Member for Moray (Douglas Ross). The Newburgh train station campaign is working to re-establish a train station that will provide a vital transport link. Assuming that strategic funding is not just available to Members of the Conservative party, who can I speak to in order to get that station re-established? (900675)
Mr Harper (Secretary of State for Transport) 
On her first point, we are working with the local authority to progress that scheme, which was announced earlier. On her specific point, I will arrange for the relevant Minister to meet her so that she can put forward the case for that scheme, and we will look at whether it is possible to do anything to help her.


Scottish Parliament, 2nd November, Portfolio Question Time – Transport, Net Zero and Just Transition.
Our MSPs ask questions of the Minister for Transport
Read the page from the Scottish Parliament Official Report here: NewburghStationQuestionsInScot Parl2_11_23
Watch the questions asked in the Scottish Parliament debating chamber here ( 5 minutes) Q&A


We would like to invite you to a Saturday morning coffee morning in the Tayside Institute and Community Centre, to meet members of the Newburgh Train Station Campaign and folk in Newburgh, to touch base and find out more about the campaign and what we are up to (a new website is on its way).

Members of the new campaign management committee will be on hand to meet, greet and talk. 
Display graphics will illustrate campaign thinking.  Primary school art work will be displayed, 300 postcard size images and even more images displayed for the first time entered as designs by schools in the area for a new campaign logo.
Funds raised at the event will go towards basic running costs, publicity and hall hire etc.
The event is an opportunity for all involved in supporting the campaign to come together and show a new public face as we work harder than ever to take the overwhelmingly strong case for a station and rail service once again for Newburgh to the closing stages of getting the job done.

JUNE 2023

The final part of the Newburgh STAG Transport Appraisal has been finalised to meet some of the comments Transport Scotland made and is now with them on their desks for approval.  The case for the station at Abernethy Road in Newburgh emerged as the front runner, ahead of the other options considered, for bringing the kind of change needed by Newburgh.

On Monday evening, 12th June, at the Lindores Distillery the campaign meeting was attended by around 80 people with offers made to help with the drive to publicise the campaign and reach into the Scottish Parliament and Scottish Government to bring to the attention of MSPs and ministers the excellent case Newburgh has to reinstate a station for passenger services and show what a tremendous amount of support there is for this in Newburgh as well as the positive impact this will have on Newburgh’s future development, putting Newburgh fairly back on the map of Scotland.

The meeting was attended by Willie Rennie MSP who heard people’s present concerns around transport and travel, leading into an extremely constructive discussion around the ways forward and the publicity drive. 

Thursday, May 25, 2023

Transport Options (Rural Areas)

Mark Ruskell (Mid Scotland and Fife) (Green)

Scotland’s rural communities have great ideas on how to improve our national rail network. At the moment, ScotRail services pass through Newburgh, but have not stopped there since the station closed in 1955. A simple low-cost modular station could reconnect Newburgh to the rail network. What discussions has the minister had about the opportunities that modular stations provide? Will the minister agree to meet me and the Newburgh Train Station Campaign group in the months to come?

Kevin Stewart

MAY 2023

Greetings to all supporters.

Although there is no more news to report on the transport appraisal at the moment, the campaign has been in discussion with Mark Ruskell and Willie Rennie MSPs who are now joining forces to help get across to the government just how important the station would be for Newburgh.

On Monday 12th June at 7.30pm at the Lindores Distillery there will be a meeting for everyone interested in supporting the new push for the station.  Please join us, bring others and bring your ideas for publicity.

Already, the campaign has been in discussions with the Primary school and the Four Sticks Gallery in the High Street and floated the idea of a Post Card From Newburgh with a short message for the minister for transport – in reality this would be many many postcards, many images and many various messages.  It would be great to have people help make this a reality with designing and printing.

But you may have lots of other ideas too.

The campaign has gone really well so far and we are confident we can win the support of ministers to invest in our community but we need your help to persuade them. 

Please join us on the 12th.

MARCH 2023 

Newburgh rail supporters want ‘budget’ train station to keep campaign on the rails

From The Courier

JULY 2022

The final part of the transport appraisal has now been submitted to Transport Scotland for review and comment.   The download here was resubmitted after these Transport Scotland comments were eventually given in January 2023! You can download the full final STAG report here  The report concludes that the rail option is the best of all the solutions that fit the objectives of the transport appraisal for Newburgh and its area.

June 2022

Portfolio Questions asked in the Scottish Parliament, 29th June, on Railway Station for Newburgh (STAG Appraisal), from the official report

6. Willie Rennie (North East Fife) (LD)
To ask the Scottish Government when it expects a decision to be reached on a railway station for Newburgh in Fife following the publication of the Newburgh and area Scottish transport appraisal guidance appraisal. (S6O-01297)
The Minister for Transport (Jenny Gilruth)

Willie Rennie

Jenny Gilruth

The Deputy Presiding Officer
Mark Ruskell has a supplementary question. I ask that he be brief.
Mark Ruskell (Mid Scotland and Fife) (Green)

The Deputy Presiding Officer
Be very brief, minister.
Jenny Gilruth

August 2021

A Proposed New ScotRail Timetable Is Published In Draft And Open To Public Consultation

This represents an opportunity for more local services on the Perth Edinburgh route since the express services from Inverness to Edinburgh have been switched via Stirling, which had been a factor used against opening a service from Newburgh when Inverness services used our local stretch of the line.

The proposed draft for the new timetable of direct interest to us which aims to be live from May 2022 can be seen here

For all proposed East Of Scotland routes

On this page you can follow the link for the feedback form to give your views on the proposed timetable changes and the opportunity it should provide to give Newburgh a rail service.  The proposals ought also to give the rail option in the work currently being done on the Newburgh STAG transport appraisal a greater score as a viable intervention.

The consultation is open from 20 August to 1 October 2021, to seek opinions on the proposed timetables.

For a link to a page with links to all proposed timetables in Scotland

March 2021

The third and final stage of the study, the ‘Detailed Appraisal’ is currently under way. This will see the interventions being assessed in greater detail against the STAG criteria of Environment, Economy, Safety, Integration and Accessibility/Social Inclusion. The appraisal will also consider the options in the context of Cost to Government and Risk and Uncertainty.

To view the proposals that are being assessed as part of the Detailed Appraisal, please visit the Project website Improving transport for Newburgh for details about the Newburgh Transport Appraisal project and the Proposals page for the options being examined to give Newburgh better transport connections, a new railway station at Newburgh being one of them.  Feedback and comments are invited on the Proposals page.

December 2020 Transport Scotland Greenlight The Last Phase Of The Newburgh Transport Appraisal 

The final stage of the Newburgh transport appraisal funded under the Scottish Government’s Local Rail Development Fund has been given approval by Transport Scotland to go ahead after the successful completion of the second part, the InitiaI Options Appraisal.  The Detailed Options Appraisal will begin in January 2021, although in anticipation of approval, some work has already begun.

This is very welcomed after much grim news during 2020’s pandemic.  However, despite the emergency restrictions, work has been very much ongoing with the Newburgh Transport Appraisal Project Group and the consultants able to work online and regularly meet via video link.

Political representatives have also been briefed on progress.  Wendy Chamberlain MP for North East Fife met the project group on a video call in the autumn.  The project group includes transport officers from Fife Council, South East Scotland Transport Partnership and a representative from Newburgh Train Station Group. Additionally, Newburgh Train Station Group has reported regularly with the Fife Rail Forum and attended its video call meetings convened by Mark Ruskell MSP for Mid-Scotland & Fife Region.

2021 will therefore see the final phase of the Newburgh Transport Appraisal, which, all being well, will be completed  by Easter.  The views of the community will once again be called on and fed into the report.

So far the Newburgh Transport Appraisal has made the case well for better public transport and active travel provision in the area.  The case for connecting Newburgh back into the railway system is being shown to be particularly strong, especially when considered in tandem with a connecting bus service and active travel routes, both in terms of cycling and pedestrian pathways.

May 2020

Improving Transport For Newburgh

SYSTRA Ltd is working with the Newburgh Train Station Group (NTSG), South East of Scotland Transport Partnership (SEStran) and Fife Council to undertake a transport appraisal of Newburgh, building on work already undertaken by NTSG. The study focusses on improving sustainable transport access for Newburgh to and from Perth, Edinburgh and Fife. It is funded via Transport Scotland’s 2018 Local Rail Development Fund (LRDF) and follows Transport Scotland’s Scottish Transport Appraisal Guidance (STAG).

The first stage of the study, the Pre-Appraisal (Initial Appraisal: Case for Change), was successfully completed and approved by Transport Scotland in March 2020. This collated relevant socio-demographic and transport information for the study area, developed specific Transport Planning Objectives (TPOs) for the wider study, identified the key problems and opportunities for Newburgh, and outlined a list of potential interventions for further appraisal. The Pre-appraisal work was informed by an extensive stakeholder and public consultation.

The next stage of the study, the ‘Initial Appraisal’, is currently under way. This will see the potential interventions being explored in more detail by qualitatively assessing them against the five STAG criteria of Environments, Economy, Safety, Integration and Accessibility/Social Inclusion. The appraisal will also consider the options in the context of Feasibility, Affordability and Public Acceptability.

The project website, just launched, provides further information on the potential interventions and the overall study.   Please also see  Things To Do

January 2019

Visit to Newburgh of Michael Matheson MSP, Scottish Government Cabinet Secretary for Transport, Infrastructure and Connectivity

The minister responsible for transport visited Newburgh to meet with members of the campaign on a cold Thursday morning (17th January) for an informal walk and talk so he was able to see things for himself on the ground.  He congratulated the campaign for the work it had done in a consistent way over the years and what it had achieved.  He also asked how the business case was developing and informed that the consultants were on the point of being appointed to carry out the STAG work necessary to see this work done. The minister for transport, infrastructure and connectivity, a cabinet member of government, will eventually be responsible for the decision to decide whether or no a train service once again is provided for Newburgh.  The walk and talk started on Hill Road by the railway line and tunnel, went past the old station master’s house and along infront of the old quarry down to Woodriffe Road Bridge, where he could have a view of the previous station site, before completing the meeting at the Abernethy Road car park and the start of the Fife Coastal Path.


In the week following this meeting SYSTRA were confirmed as the consultants appointed by Newburgh Train Station Group  Fife Council and SEStran (The Newburgh Transport Appraisal Project Steering Group) to carry out the STAG 1 and STAG 2 transport appraisal work.

9th August, 2018

Award of Scottish Government Funds Made To Newburgh Train Station Group

Transport Scotland has awarded the Newburgh Train Station Group £82,000 towards the cost of a full blown transport study to examine all the transport solutions best placed to improve the lives of people in Newburgh and its surrounding area, including buses and trains and active travel.

The application made by Newburgh Train Station Group for funding to the Scottish Government’s newly established Local Rail Development Fund has the support of South East Scotland Transport Partnership (SEStran) and Fife Council who agreed to take forward study work completed by the group earlier in the year. A joint project group will be set up to manage the appraisal. The project management team will consist of representatives from the Newburgh community group, Fife Council and SEStran acting as project promoter.

The Local Rail Development Fund is designed to support local transport appraisal studies that have a rail element involved in them. The initial appraisal study work by the Newburgh Train Station Group represented the first step in the overall transport appraisal process recognised by Transport Scotland and made the case for change to the current transport situation the community faces. The next steps involve a more measured in-depth examination and costing of the kinds of solutions that could deliver improvement.

The Newburgh Train Station Group is a community campaign in Newburgh established to re-open its rail link, campaigning to get the necessary Government recognised transport studies done to take forward a deeply felt community aspiration. The award of funds to do so therefore represents a significant step for the campaign as it will allow the officially required business case to develop by exploring the best options for delivering better transport outcomes for all citizens of the Newburgh community and beyond.

North East Fife MP Stephen Gethins says, “A rail halt in Newburgh is particularly vital to the local economy and in encouraging investment and visitors to the area, as well as making access to employment, training and education in the major Scottish urban centres far easier.”

This is great news for Newburgh and a big help in addressing the transport issues long holding the town back. It also allows the community a seat at the table to continue shaping the case for change and how to improve the poor links it has with Fife and the rest of Scotland. Along with looking at bus services and how to wean folk away from a heavy reliance on cars, high on the list is re-establishing a rail service for Newburgh. Better and more streamlined transport connectivity will make a big difference to people’s lives in the modern economy of the 21st century.

See theTransport Scotland News Page:                               

19th July, 2018

Convener’s Report For The Year 2017-2018 NTSGReportAGM2018 And A Proposal To Re-jig The Campaign Organisation NTSGReorganisation.

The reorganisation proposed would extend the scope of the campaign by building on the recommendations in the STAG Pre-appraisal transport study, enabling the campaign to undertake a range of transport projects, including projects related to rail, bus, car and cycle-paths.  The reorganisation would also make the campaign organisation as a community venture more robust in terms of governance and its status in law.

8th June, 2018

The Newburgh Train Station Group has completed the STAG Pre-appraisal transport study.  This now has the backing of Fife Council and South East Scotland Transport Partnership (SEStran) who support its recommendations.

The report recommends that the three options (car-share, improved bus services and a rail halt) have sufficient weight to take further into the rest of the STAG appraisal process.

Newburgh and Area, North Fife, STAG Pre-Appraisal Transport Study Report, 2018 Newburgh_STAG_Pre-Appraisal_June2018 has demonstrated a strategic business case, a case for change.   The transport situation Newburgh currently faces offers possible solutions, each of which deserve the necessary STAG appraisal treatment to build a more rigorous business case for change and solution.

The Newburgh Train Station Group has made an application to the Scottish Government’s new Local Rail Enhancement Fund to help cover the costs of the rest of the STAG appraisal process.  If successful, SEStran will act as Project Promoter and together with Fife Council and Newburgh Train Station Group, form a working/steering group to commission and project manage a STAG 1 and STAG 2 appraisal.

21st February, 2018

Rail pipeline fund announced to support local initiatives

From April this year, community led initiatives will be able to tap into a £2m Scottish Government fund to develop options to improve local rail connections.

Announced as part of today’s budget, the fund will be open to local organisations to carry out appraisal work on potential options to improve community access to rail services.

Humza Yousaf, Minister for Transport and the Islands said:

“Rail services are vital to the economic and social well-being of communities across Scotland. That is why this Government has invested over £7bn in our railways across the country since 2007.

“This new fund will enable local communities to appraise and potentially bring forward proposals which tackle very specific, local rail connectivity issues. This will allow us to consider these as part of our plans for future investment in our railways.”

The formal launch of the fund will take place in the coming weeks once all of the necessary practical processes around the application, assessment and governance procedures have been put in place.

19th February, ONLINE SURVEY

Excellent response to Newburgh transport surveys. 77 paper surveys complete and 630 online surveys. This represents just over 24% of the population.
And brilliant written responses giving a positive mosaic of voices, saying in their different ways the same thing – better buses and give us a station! That’s real evidence.
Online survey finishes on the 28th February. Well done Newburgh! A last burst to surpass expectations, go on, go on!


The campaigns for new rail lines and stations in Fife have been given a major boost by the announcement of up to £2m for feasibility studies in the Scottish budget. The fund was a key demand made by Green MSPs in exchange for supporting the budget vote in Holyrood today.

The funding could help move forward the proposed reopening of the Dunfermline to Alloa line, the St Andrews rail link, and stations at Newburgh and Halbeath. It could also provide a major boost to reopening the Levenmouth line, progress on which has stalled despite commitments from the Scottish Government made last year.

Green MSP for Mid Scotland and Fife, Mark Ruskell said the funding formed part of a wider strategy to shift government spending towards low carbon projects.

“This announcement will give a real lift to the dedicated campaigns across Fife who have been calling for an expanded, inclusive rail network in the Kingdom.  Whilst there have been warm words from the Government for rail reopenings, until now it has been a long and sometimes tortuous process for communities that want to reopen their local rail link. This fund will provide dedicated resources to help make the case for new stations and lines, and hopefully pave the way for a better rail network that serves tens of thousands more households.

This is just the beginning though – we need a radical shift in our infrastructure funding to make sure railways and other public transport are our top priority. We have to prepare now for a low-carbon future that addresses, rather than adds to, climate change. This fund, along with the extra money for councils and public sector pay Greens secured in the budget, demonstrates the huge role opposition parties can play when they negotiate constructively with the minority government in Holyrood.”

The STAG pre-appraisal transport study is well underway and currently running a transport survey for residents in Newburgh and area to respond to as part of the consultation, an integral feature of the study.  This can be downloaded on the Things To Do page.  Please make copies for all members of your household to fill out and tell friends, family and neighbours too.


The survey is not long and drawn out and only takes a few moments to complete. This survey will help us collate statistics relating to any transport issues the residents of Newburgh face, and any suggested improvements. In turn this will all help build up the evidence and make our case stronger.


Fife Rail Strategy Report FINAL VERSION

Thanks to all campaign supporters who turned out for this event on the railway bridge on Woodriffe Road, Newburgh, including a class of Newburgh Primary School!  A well supported event on a freezing morning!

The report, Breaking The Circle, was written by Levenmouth Rail Campaign, Newburgh Train Station Campaign, STARlink – The St Andrews Rail Campaign, Alloa Community Council, David Prescott of Allan Rail Solutions and Mark Ruskell MSP.

It was launched on the railway bridge in Newburgh to show the STV film crew and assembled journalists from STV, the Courier and Kingdom FM, the 10 o’clock from Perth running through the town and not stopping!

The impressive turnout of fifty people on a freezing morning demonstrates once again the high level of support that exists in Newburgh for the campaign, which can turn out at very short notice.  Thank you to everyone involved who helped to make the launch of this report such a great success.  The high profile given to the report and our own campaign by the associated press coverage on STV news, the Courier and Kingdom FM will not go unnoticed.

Mark Ruskell MSP (below, giving a happy face), who spearheaded the Fife Rail Enhancement Strategy Report,

Breaking The Circle.

On Tuesday afternoon, between 4 and 6pm, on the 5th December, there was a pre-appraisal transport study consultation opportunity for residents and members of the public to come into the Tayside Institute and Community Centre to give their views and engage with the issues.  This was further extended to local ward councillors and then to Newburgh Community Council later in the evening.

To coincide with the opening of their new store on Newburgh High Street, the Co-op made a £500 donation to the Newburgh Train Station Group  to help the community grow in recognition of the campaign.

Stephen Gethins MP for North East Fife attended the ribbon cutting ceremony to officially mark the opening and the donation of the cheque.


NTSG Convener’s Report AGM June2017: NTSGConvener’sReportAGMJune2017

NEWS, May 2017
The campaign is currently beginning to undertake a pre-STAG appraisal with the voluntary assistance of a rail industry professional who has forty years experience.
Transport Scotland will also provide assistance and guidance as will Fife Council transport officials and those from South East Scotland Transport Partnership (SESTRAN).
The study will examine the current transport picture of Newburgh and its area alongside the present socio-economic context.
From this the various problems and options can then be examined, sifted through and pointers established to solving difficulties.
The study will not pre-determine the outcome but it can be reasonably expected that the case for station outcome will emerge as a strong option.
The pre-STAG appraisal study is now the focus and priority of the campaign.  With this accomplished well and thoroughly the Scottish Government, through Transport Scotland, Fife Council and SESTRAN will be more likely to help match-fund a full STAG appraisal with ourselves applying for European funding through the Fife LEADER programme which is still open until 2019/20.
The pre-STAG appraisal will significantly aid our chances of raising funds from LEADER and our current application to them has been allowed to await the pre-appraisal study’s completion.  It will also aid our chances of making the case for the station option and then for a full STAG study, which in turn will propel a momentum towards the station as a workable and viable solution as well a it’s commissioning.
Cross-party political support is being re-established and proving useful.  The Newburgh Station issue has certainly begun to stick and really take hold.

Newburgh Train Station Group goes to the Scottish Parliament to discuss the campaign and how our locally elected MSPs could help to further our case and other cases in Fife.  Willie Rennie MSP for North East Fife, pictured here with two of our number, had been urged by our campaign to lead a cross-party approach.  He managed to arrange a meeting attended by ourselves as well as the St Andrews Campaign and the Alloa Campaign, with Mark Russell MSP and Dean Lockhart MSP in attendance.  Unfortunately, due to a bereavement, Claire Baker MSP was unable to attend.

New insights that support the case for a station halt at Newburgh

It can be understood that ScotRail train services after December 2018 will significantly reconfigure the Edinburgh and Glasgow to Inverness timetable around an hourly service between Perth and Inverness.

It is envisaged that south of Perth Inverness trains will alternate between Glasgow and Edinburgh stopping only at Stirling or Kirkcaldy.  However, there will be additional trains with only limited stops between Glasgow and Perth since there is a requirement for an hourly semi-fast service for Glasgow-Perth-Dundee-Arbroath, but Perth to Edinburgh may see one of the current Edinburgh-Ladybank-Perth trains replaced to accommodate the new Inverness to Edinburgh via Perth express timetable.

A replacement Edinburgh-Kirkcaldy-Markinch-Ladybank semi-fast service could be envisaged but cut short of the single track Ladybank-Newburgh section because Ladybank-Hilton Junction can only manage one train an hour in each direction.

The remaining semi-fast service on the Edinburgh-Perth route would be as now every two hours.

The whole Fife timetable as a consequence is likely to require re-planning.

Therefore, there is a possibility of trains serving Newburgh on this post December 2018 every two hours with the Edinburgh-Perth semi-fast service.  Details will have to finessed to avoid clashes on the single line and delays to the Inverness expresses, but it can be confidently asserted that there is no structural timetabling reason that a call at Newburgh should not be added.

Negative aspects of extra calls at Newburgh being included will only affect passengers going to or from Perth.  The negative patronage and revenue effect of the slightly extended journey time set against the new passengers getting on at Newburgh would be minimal.

In fact, Scotland’s current policy states (in its 2006 document Scotland’s Railways, pp25-26, Chapter 7, Strategic Outcomes):

Timetables to suit customers and improved connections

7.6 Regular, frequent passenger services between each of our city regions that reflect travellers’ needs. Inter-urban journey times that can compete with the car. Quality interchange stations where passengers from intermediate stations can connect with fast, inter-urban services.

Thus, the Transport Scotland rationale currently deployed against the case for a halt at Newburgh, that it would negatively affect Highland mainline services, is significantly lessened by the envisaged new services post 2018 and upheld on the current policy regarding the inclusion of new halts if demand is evident:

7.9 ……..New stations will be considered where the surrounding population, workplace or visitor need is sufficient to generate a high level of demand, and would be expected to be serviced by feeder rather than inter-urban services.

In conclusion, the Newburgh Station project is relatively simple and capable of fitting into the projected train service timetable expected after December 2018.  It is not strategic and offers a quick win for all parties concerned, and furthermore, Newburgh can be seen as a good possibility as it is not on a scale to compete with the various other Fife based and Scottish wide schemes that are bigger and costlier.

It would also offer good value in an area that has not had the benefit of any transport investment for a long time.

Newburgh is a minor scale project which could be delivered without much disruption to the overall service in the long term and bring revenue to the operators without requiring financial support.  Newburgh is therefore more affordable for the initial capital involved providing a revenue stream, attractive in the present and future funding climate.

A Newburgh Station will be materially quick to implement, both through STAG and further approval processes as well as construction.  The actual cost, as a single platform station is cheaper to build, would not need significant funding as set against the rail budget and Newburgh represents to all parties concerned a new station opportunity for a lower cost.

As of now, in the early stages of the project, there appears to be scope in the December 2018 timetable for calls at a new Newburgh Station as well as potential sites for stations.  The stages the project needs to progress through include an early STAG assessment, and an early acceptance and support of the concept subject to a positive STAG assessment from Fife Council and SESTRANS.  If this is satisfactorily accomplished, Transport Scotland are likely to be supportive.


Mark Russell MSP, asked a question in the Scottish Parliament on the support for railway reopenings.

Scottish Parliament – Wednesday 9 November 2016 – [The Deputy Presiding Officer opened the meeting at 14:00]

Portfolio Question Time

Rail Lines and Stations (Support for Reopening)

Mark Ruskell (Mid Scotland and Fife) (Green):

To ask the Scottish Government what support it provides to third sector organisations that seek to build a case for the reopening of rail lines and stations.

The Minister for Transport and the Islands (Humza Yousaf):

If requested, the Scottish Government provides advice through Transport Scotland to third sector organisations and others on the application of its transport appraisal and business case guidance. The guidance is published on Transport Scotland’s website.

Mark Ruskell:

The minister might not be aware that the Newburgh train station group recently applied unsuccessfully for funds from the national lottery to develop a Scottish transport appraisal guidance report after Fife Council had exhausted funds supporting the STAG process for the critical Levenmouth rail route. Does he agree that the planning of our 21st century rail network should not depend on a lottery game? Will he commit to the provision of enough funds to examine the cases of all emerging rail projects, while also reviewing the STAG process to make it more streamlined, transparent and cost effective?

Humza Yousaf:

I am more than happy to discuss that in more detail with the member. I met members of the Levenmouth rail campaign and had a good discussion with them. The proposal has some merit, although there are still questions that need to be answered, which Fife Council is working on.

The campaigners did not raise the funding of the STAG appraisal as an issue, but I agree with them that there is merit in looking at whether the appraisal process can be made less cumbersome. I am more than happy to do that and to take that feedback. I am waiting for the council’s feedback on the Levenmouth rail option. All rail projects will be considered with an open mind if they have fully costed and robust business cases.

Pushing for an appropriate full Transport Appraisal (STAG) to get done for Newburgh and its area has been supported by Claire Baker MSP who has written a well framed letter to the new minister for transport in the Scottish Government.





There is a new constituency MSP for North East Fife, Willie Rennie MSP.  The campaign has met with him at his constituency office in Cupar and he has received a comprehensive set of briefing materials to help support us in our campaign to reopen the station and to that end get a full transport appraisal done for Newburgh and its surrounding area. Stephen Gethins MP has inherited the case notes kept by Roderick Campbell our last MSP who worked very hard on the campaign.  Roderick Campbell has been thanked by the campaign for this.  Stephen Gethins MP is in process of discussing the case for a station at Newburgh and the need for a full STAG transport appraisal with the new Scottish Government minister with responsibility for transport, Humza Yousaf MSP (The Minister for Transport and the Islands).  Willie Rennie MSP will also ask the new minister a question in the parliament.  There are also seven list MSPs for Mid-Scotland and Fife in the current Scottish Parliament (see Things To Do)

The SYSTRA Report has been forwarded to Transport Scotland by the commissioning partners, Fife Council, SESTRAN, Perth and Kinross Council and TACTRAN.  A response is awaited and the campaign will keep you posted on this.




On Friday 12th February 2016, Roderick Campbell MSP visited Newburgh to meet up with supporters to lend further support to the campaign ahead of a forthcoming meeting with Transport Scotland to discuss the strong case made for the station, which has been publicly acknowledged, and the very real need that Newburgh and area has for a full transport appraisal run according to the STAG process.

NTSGSupporters+MSP1 copy

30th January 2016

Newburgh Rail Station Campaign Bid Gathers Steam

A Courier article published, 26th January, gives a good representation of the campaign’s position and reading of the SYSTRA report (see item below) although the prediction of annual patronage figures from the report (in this instance quoted from the 2030 scenario in the report’s table on page 24) given in the article continues to muddy the waters.  Newburgh is an actual place with a living population, Oudenarde is a projected development.  Even so, notwithstanding this, our own household door to door survey is mentioned which as of now shows that in terms of patronage, Newburgh folk would use the station in a way that exceeds the figures given by SYSTRA for a projected 2030 usage!  However, the article also points up the better total benefits, including passenger benefits, and valuably represents the campaign’s call for a full STAG transport appraisal now.

7th December 2015

A small scale study looking at the business case for stations at Newburgh and Oudenarde/Bridge of Earn has after nearly two years been released.

The report was commissioned by SESTRAN, TACTRAN, Fife Council and Perth and Kinross Council.  It’s findings suggest that there is a better case for a station at Newburgh compared to Oudenarde/Bridge of Earn and opens the way for a full transport appraisal for Newburgh along the lines of a STAG (see below) to be conducted, something the campaign has tirelessly attempted to achieve.  In the light of this report the campaign will urge the statutory authorities, Fife Council, SESTRAN and Transport Scotland to undertake a full STAG appraisal for Newburgh as soon as possible.  The report can be seen here: 20151118_Oudenarde_and_Newburgh_Study_Final_Report_(Combined)_v5

StephenGettinsMP_Newburgh_Station3 copy

Stephen Gethins MP for North East Fife, elected in the May 2015 General Election for the UK parliament, visited Newburgh in September 2015 to meet with a large group of local campaign supporters and visit the site of the old station, courtesy of the current owner.

July 2015

The Newburgh Train Station Campaign is constituted as the Newburgh Train Station Group and has arisen out of public meetings and overwhelming, widespread support from residents of Newburgh for the reopening of a station halt at Newburgh, as well as a succession of statistically sound household surveys and expert reports.

Since the summer of 2011 the campaign has relied on cross-party political support and works particularly closely through its locally elected constituency Member for the Scottish Parliament and recently gained public support from the Leader of Fife Council.

The present focus of the campaign is set on obtaining a full STAG based transport appraisal (Scottish Transport Appraisal Guidance (STAG) – promised in the 2012 Scottish Government approved TayPlan, in order to put the likelihood of access to the railway for Newburgh and its environs on a stronger footing. Such a rigorous assessment and appraisal process along STAG lines is required to examine all transport options for an area, and a positive outcome for rail access has to be concluded, before a station halt can be authorised.

Newburgh Train Station Campaign welcomes practical support and informed advocacy from all, including elected and aspirant political representatives in Fife from whatever party. Tangible actions rather than generic statements of support count and matter more. An unstinting effort to to get a full STAG transport appraisal for Newburgh and its catchment area requires this level of political commitment to count as support.







As of  now, March 2015, a new call for voices and argument will be shortly issued.

The MVA/Systra report is still awaited and the current redrafted TayPlan proposals will shortly be open to representations from the public.

Certainly since last March there has been movement in the right direction and a tremendous amount of intense behind the scenes pressure put on the all the relevant authorities as a result of all our combined campaign efforts.  The opaqueness and sluggish inertia of many-headed bureaucracies is not unique to transport issues alone.

Keep the faith.

Proposed FIFE Plan Local Development Plan – October 2014

 (Followed by the campaign’s formal responding comment submitted and published by the consultation that ended on the 9th December 2014)

Newburgh and Burnside Pages 147-148

Page 148, Reference – NEB 004, Location – Newburgh Rail Halt, Area – 1 hectare, Description – New rail halt with park and ride,

Lead Agency – Fife Council/Private Sector

Status, additional development requirements, and other information

This site is included within SEStrans Regional Transport Strategy Delivery Plan 2008-2023. The proposal is not currently supported by the Strategic Transport Projects Review and Transport Scotland has no commitment towards funding the delivery of a station at this location.

Transport Scotland’s policy is to promote better utilisation of the existing network as a first choice and, as such, welcomes proposals for Park-and-Choose sites which complement extablished rail facilities.

 Demand for new station may come about as a result of development at NEB01[225 houses South of Cupar Road proposed]. In that event the case for a new station will be considered where the needs of local communities, workers or visitors would be sufficient to generate a high level of demand, and it is more likely that feeder rather than inter-urban services would serve the station.

 Strategic transport network improvements will include junction and car parking improvements in addition to the safeguarding and provision of serviced employment land.

Green Network Priorities

Deliver a high quality development edge onto the A913 and the Public Park to reflect the location of the site as an important gateway to Newburgh.

 Provide a high quality landscape edge along the railway line.


Fife Plan Consultation 2014

NEB004 – Newburgh Rail Halt

Responding Comment By Newburgh Train Station Group

Since the 2008/2009 Scottish Government’s Strategic Transport Review there has been a change of government and a developing context that requires attention when considering the Rail Halt for Newburgh. There has also been a reawakening of considerable support for a reopened rail halt in Newburgh, a renewed interest that has translated into an active engagement that is part of a wider effort by the community in Newburgh to explore, deepen and create initiatives that can assure it of meaningful developments, shared beneficially and equally by its population, to secure a better future.

Work carried out by the Newburgh Community Trust through Sustainable Newburgh identified both an appetite and a need in the local community for a reopened station halt, reflective of something widely long felt in Newburgh. Both an extensive analysis and report by Sustainable Newburgh, published in 2011 and another Newburgh Community Trust commissioned study from the Deltix rail consultancy also in 2011, show clear advantages, benefits and support for the Newburgh station halt and robustly indicates its feasibility (see uploaded additional supporting material).

Moreover, in 2011, on the back of these Newburgh Community Trust initiatives, as well as genuinely widespread popular support in Newburgh town, the local community created a group to campaign for the station closed down in 1955 to be reopened in terms of provision for a basic rail halt in Newburgh. The Newburgh Train Station Group has consistently worked through politically elected representatives and the relevant transport agencies (see

The Tay Plan approved by Scottish Ministers and published in 2012 included a greater priority for the consideration of a station halt at Newburgh through the provision of a full transport appraisal for the area (see uploaded additional supporting material).

In 2012 the new Scottish Government announced the Scottish Station’s Fund, an initiative to provide guidance and support for local communities with an interest in improving their connections to the rail network.

The Scottish Government and Transport Scotland are now aware of the efforts to reopen the station at Newburgh by the community and the support given to this which has recently translated into SESTRAN and Fife Council commissioning a small scale study (along with Perth and Kinross Council and TACTRAN) to look into the various transport issues and solutions for the area. This could well see a full transport appraisal (STAG) following on from this in the near future.

At a meeting of the Scottish Parliament on the 25th September 2014, Nicola Sturgeon MSP was asked in question time by Roderick Campbell MSP whether the Government retains an interest in the ongoing matter of a new rail halt for Newburgh and whether it would consider a full STAG study should the current small scale study be positive. The reply was that the Government was willing to consider rail-based interventions that receive a positive appraisal under the Scottish transport appraisal guidance and if the current small scale study gives reason to the local authorities and regional transport partnerships to decide that new stations fit with their transport strategies, they will of course consider undertaking a STAG appraisal, which will explore all possible transport solutions.

Demand for a new station has already been proven in Newburgh and in its immediate catchment area and does not need the possibility of new housing to bolster this. This has been shown through the survey conducted during 2010 by Sustainable Newburgh on a 23% return of posted survey sheets and the subsequent, statistically no less impressive, door step to door step survey conducted since 2012 by the Newburgh Train Station Group, that has so far directly surveyed over 80% of households in Newburgh town and its immediate rural hinterland, and unequivocally shows 90% of households would use a train service running from Newburgh as well as giving a quantitative picture as to how households would use the service and how frequently (see additional uploaded supporting material).

New housing planned for Newburgh would only serve to increase this already identified present demand but that should not be the premise on which to base the proposal’s viability. Moreover, canvassing of the locally, closely adjacent community of Abernethy through its community council and bi-monthly newspaper also indicates considerable interest and support, a particularly significant dimension that ought to be factored in and especially in light of the current partnership between Fife and Perth and Kinross Councils who have commissioned, along with the two regional transport partnerships, the aforementioned study by a transport consultancy to review this area’s transport options. Abernethy, two miles from Newburgh represents an approximately equivalent population size. The combined population of the two neighbouring settlements should therefore represent a considerable factor in this rail passenger transport equation.

Many tourists and international visitors to Newburgh regularly comment on the lack of a station. The gateway into Fife from the north-west provided by Newburgh as the northerly start of the the Fife coastal path is considerably diminished by this absence. The potential for a better destination and accompanying opportunities for tourism growth are clearly factors to be considered.

However, the social and economic contexts for Newburgh and its area require a level of attention to development that goes a little beyond the mainstream default projections of new build housing which the current plan highlights as the component that might lend support for a rail halt. Demand, as already stated, is very much in evidence already, and especially taken in conjunction with close lying Abernethy. The real point is that there are many glaring needs in Newburgh and its lack of opportunity to join the rail transport network is certainly a significant one amongst them and a priority. Newburgh, like many townships of similar size and location, is caught in a vicious circle of under-provision. A rail halt cum station would prove a big first step in breaking that circle. Newburgh, in terms of transport provision, especially public transport, is particularly geographically isolated.

The Newburgh Train Station Group welcomes the Green Network Priorities included in the plan since a high quality development and landscape edge envisaged are needed. The group on behalf of the community in Newburgh would also like to strongly register the need to retain the long standing business components of the site and even allowance for new businesses which have historically always sprung from the presence of railway lines and stations.

One further point also needs emphasising to conclude these comments on this part of the plan. Rail transport policy and planning reviews undertaken prior to the collapse of the boom in the last decade imagined prioritising reduced journey times between the major urban network hubs. This has lingered amongst caveats that disfavour opening smaller halts within the network, often for the sake of a couple of minutes, and ignores the trend that has emerged in the last ten years that has seen station halts and whole lines reopening in Scotland as much as across the rest of the UK. In Newburgh’s case this negative presumption also ignores signalling and line improvements that have been made on the Perth to Edinburgh track. Newburgh Train Station Group is also currently working on timetable scenarios that can operate within the current passenger rail timetable and has received a positive response from Scot Rail Train Planning department managers, advising that this is a well thought out plan that addresses nodal flows and connection opportunities. The work of the Newburgh Train Station Group in this instance is still one in progress but it is pointing in the right direction and gathering depth and is evidence that a representative community body can be an active and productive partner in the venture of a station halt reopening alongside the relevant agencies and the local authority.

Newburgh Train Station Group,

November 2014

Supporting Documents

NTSG_Fife_Plan_Consultation_2014_Supporting_Material.pdf containing in sequence four files:

Deltix_Final_Rail_Report_for_Sustainable_Newburgh.pdf (Deltix)

Train_Station_Appendix_2011.pdf (Sustainable Newburgh)

Page28_TayPlan_Nov2011.pdf (Tay Plan)

Household_Surveys_Interim_Results_June2014.pdf (Newburgh Train Station Group)

The Scottish Parliament

Meeting of the Parliament 25 September 2014 – .VDFVwShJVH8

Rail Journey Times

Roderick Campbell (North East Fife) (SNP)

The cabinet secretary might be aware of support for a rail halt at Newburgh on the existing Perth to Edinburgh line and that we await the results of a delayed feasibility study. Can she confirm that the Government retains an interest in this on-going matter and will consider a STAG—Scottish transport appraisal guidance—appraisal if the feasibility study is positive?

The Deputy First Minister and Cabinet Secretary for Infrastructure, Investment and Cities, Nicola Sturgeon:

The Scottish Government is of course willing to consider rail-based interventions that receive a positive appraisal under the Scottish transport appraisal guidance, subject to affordability and the potential impact on passengers using the wider rail network. For example, that involves the challenge of balancing reduced journey times against additional stops. I am aware that the south-east of Scotland transport partnership and the Tayside and central Scotland transport partnership are undertaking a joint business case study in conjunction with Fife Council and Perth and Kinross Council regarding proposed rail stations at Newburgh and Bridge of Earn. If those bodies decide that new stations in those locations fit with their transport strategies, they will of course consider undertaking a STAG appraisal, which will explore all possible transport solutions and not just rail.


The Leader of Fife Council, Councillor David Ross, met with the campaign at the meeting of the Newburgh Train Station Group on Monday, 1st September in the Tayside Institute and Community Centre, Newburgh.

Councillor Ross gave a short address to the assembled group which was followed by a useful question and answer session and discussion.

He was able to relate that the MVA/SYSTRA report was likely to lead to a full transport appraisal along STAG lines and was due for publication at the end of the month.

The Newburgh Train Station Group would be able to read the report and then meet again with Councillor Ross to comment on it and its implications, as well as discussing the next steps to be taken.

He was able to briefly mention the campaign to the Minister of Transport at the Scottish Government in a meeting during August and said that the issue of the station for Newburgh was certainly in the minister’s eye line.

Councillor Ross assured the Newburgh Train Station Group that a station at Newburgh made sense and Fife Council would work together with the campaign to try to achieve this.

Issues of funding, both with respect to the STAG study and, if successful, the station installation, were noted by all present at the meeting to be a challenge but not insurmountable.

The outcome therefore of this meeting, which arose from the campaign action in July, was the initiation of a far more positive and proactive working relationship between the campaign and the council and a determination to develop this.

Newburgh Train Station Campaign now feels it has better support in terms of political backing from Fife Council, an important element in the attempt to get Newburgh once more linked into the railway system and a far better transport connection for the town’s future development for all its residents, present and future.

JULY 2014

The Newburgh Train Station Campaign Group on behalf of the campaign to re-open a station at Newburgh has launched a press release recently and written email letters to Fife Councillors, as well as asking its large contact list of supporters to email the same councillors.

The result of this was interest by the press and a reaction from Fife Councillors. Before even the Courier’s Fife edition ran with the story Council Rejects Rail Group’s Claim, on the 18th of July, the Leader of Fife Council, Councillor David Ross, telephoned the Convener of Newburgh Train Station Group expressing his personal surprise (no one had brought the Newburgh campaign to his attention before) and made an offer to meet with the campaign group together with an assurance to ensure that a closer working partnership between the council and the campaign emerged from now on.  Councillor Ross as Leader of Fife Council will also raise the case of the Newburgh bid for a station re-opening when he meets with the Scottish Government’s Minister for Transport in August.

Our local councillors are dismayed by the campaign’s assertions that not enough positive has been done by Fife Councillors and officials on behalf of the attempt to get a station for Newburgh. Their view, that they were not invited to our regular monthly meetings or kept informed, as well as maintaining that they were making various efforts to raise the issue, was used to balance the Courier’s article. However it can be expected that a more proactive approach will now be taken, although of course the campaign should and will attempt to monitor this very closely, especially now that the Leader of Fife Council has intervened.

The campaign has also been informed that the MVA/SYSTRA small scale study due out in May this year, then July, is to be ready for September or October, due to the merger of these two transport consultancies. Newburgh Train Station Group on behalf of the campaign will look at this when it is ready, having already grave doubts about its basis and assumptions, and urge that a full scale STAG study be carried for Newburgh.

The campaign thanks the considerable number who turned up with their children for the Courier at the Woodriffe Road railway bridge for a photograph. Unfortunately, although the photographer turned up as agreed, the journalist involved writing the story did not come along to meet with us and the story when published did not use the group photograph but instead used one of the convener of the campaign group and concentrated for balance on the counter-claims of local councillors.


The Courier is running a story and there will be a photo shoot at the Woodriffe Road railway bridge on Tuesday 15th July at 5pm. Try to be there if you can and bring as many friends and family as possible!

The Newburgh Train Station Campaign

How Things Stand March 2014

The Head of Transportation & Environmental Services at Fife Council has replied to questions asked about the commissioned MVA/Systra transport study.  This is copied directly below.

Meanwhile at the last Abernethy Community Council meeting, Newburgh Train Station Campaign attended to give a report on the campaign and received renewed general support and helpful suggestions to bring the issue to the attention of residents in Abernethy.

The ambiguity in the reply from Fife Council is therefore especially requiring clarification, particularly regarding the insistence on combining Newburgh as an area in desperate need of public transport connections with Oudenarde, a stalled development closely within easy reach of Perth City, an already well connected transport hub.  Will the findings of the transport study proportionately distinguish the economic case of each area, or will it lump them both together?

The outcome of this small scale study will be critical to whether or not a full transport appraisal for Newburgh is undertaken.

The Things To Do  page has a specimen letter to help all campaign supporters to send off their emails or letters to press Fife Council for their response to this question.

Here is the Fife Council email reply from Bob McLellan, Head of Transportation and Environmental Services, in full and without edited corrections to grammar or spelling, responding to the questions the campaign asked:

Thank you for email regarding progress on the passenger analysis for a rail halt at Newburgh.

For ease of response I have answered each question below:

“What will this study be about and how will it be done?

The Passenger Analysis report will look at:

  • review all previous rail and transport studies covering the area
  • existing public transport provision for the area, is both bus and rail, including any new proposals for services.
  • using traffic models run senarios of likely take up of rail services, costs of services, fare pricing and likely car parking requirements.

“Will the report once complete be in the public domain (as well as its cost) and accessible to the communities it directly relates to?

Once the analysis report is approved by the working group for the project this will be report to committee and shared with the Newburgh Train Station Group.

“Will the discussions that ensue after its completion ensure that local communities and stakeholders are involved and consulted as part of the decision making process?

We will seek your views of the report before making any firm decisions on whether to move forward to a STAG.

“Why is it that the Tay Plan signed off by Scottish Government ministers in 2012 separates the Bridge of Earn/Oudenard rail halt option from the Newburgh one? – as you are aware they appear on different pages, with the latter being led by Fife Council supported by SESTRAN, in turn supported by Transport Scotland and the former by Perth and Kinross Council, TACTRAN etc.

Both Oudenard and Newburgh are under the same Strategic Development Plan area for Tayplan.

Newburgh is actully within the SEStran (South East of Scotland Transport Partnership) area and Oudenard is within the tactran (Tay and Central Scotland Transport Partnership) area.

“Given Oudenard is very much an incomplete development, where is the logic in conjoining two very different areas and economic situations? 

As the aspirations for both Perth and Kinross and Fife Councils are for additional rail stations within their own areas by so close together it is beneficial to assess the projects together to make sure that the catchment areas and likely demand can support both halts.

“If costs have determined the joint council and transport partnership approach, would it not be wise to consider Newburgh and Abernethy (and even Bridge of Earn) as one?

The case to look at both or just one location for passenger demands is the same cost and therefore until economics rule out both locations the plan is to assess both. 

I trust the above addresses your concerns.

Yours sincerely,

Bob McLellan

Head of Transportation & Environmental Services

Newburgh rail halt could be just the ticket – Melanie Bonn – Perthshire Advertiser, 28th February 2014, page 22

The case for re-opening Newburgh’s rail station is back on track.

The South East of Scotland Transport Partnership has asked for a passenger demand analysis to be carried out on restoring a link between the town south of Perth and the Fair City.  Transport Minister Keith Brown MSP has indicated that Scottish Ministers will then consider the project – which would involve a new platform, waiting shelter and car park area being built.

Newburgh station closed in 1955, but the station was never removed and local campaigners have long hoped to get the stop reinstated.  The Newburgh Train Station Campaign argues that Newburgh station is conveniently placed for residents.

Nigel Mullan, the convenor of Newburgh Train Station Group, said yesterday: “We have been continually pressing local councillors, MSPs and Scottish Government ministers and officials to forward a full transport appraisal for Newburgh and its catchment area as a priority.  “Our group recently did a door-to-door survey which calculated that 90 per cent of respondents would use the rail stop.

“These results better a similar study carried out in 2011 by Sustainable Newburgh, where 85 per cent of residents said they’d opt to use the rail service for at least some journeys if the rail station re-opened.”

If a transport appraisal finds favourably for a station reopening, Scottish Government cash could go towards the Newburgh bid.

At the same time as considering Newburgh, analysis will be done into demand for a brand new rail stop at Oudenarde near Bridge of Earn.

Liz Smith, Scottish Tory MSP for Mid Scotland and Fife, is heartened by the new call for passenger analysis. “I welcome the new modelling patronage study,” she said yesterday.  “MVA consultancy Systra will look at the potential passenger numbers which the re-opened Newburgh Station and Oudenarde Station in Bridge of Earn may enjoy.”

Oudernarde, south-west of Perth, has still to be built. Almond and Earn SNP councillor Henry Anderson said:  “The rail stop is in the Oudenarde development masterplan, but not a house has gone up yet.  “Looking ahead, a rail link from Oudenarde would be handy for people staying there and with wi-fi and even better in future, business could begin before people even got to the office.”

But Mr Mullan believes it may not be helpful for Newburgh to be put in the same basket as Oudenarde. He asked:  “Given Oudenarde is very much an incomplete development, where is the logic in conjoining two very different areas and economic situations?”

Tory Almond and Earn councillor Alan Livingstone declared:  “Development at Bridge of Earn has been on the backburner. Passenger demand analysis would be good news and if the results warranted a rail stop, it could well be a key that could potentially unlock development, particularly the proposed new school.  “Dunbarney Primary is full and currently children from Bridge of Earn are ferried around to six or seven other schools. Traffic from Oudenarde has to go through the back streets of Bridge of Earn, so a rail link would take away that added pressure.”
How Things Stood February 2014

Both Fife and Perth and Kinross Council transport officials made replies in January to the many campaign supporters and MSPs who wrote calling on these authorities to undertake a full transport appraisal for Newburgh and surrounding areas. As a result there has been some progress.

The council officials inform us that SEStran will commission a transport consultancy business, MVA/Systra, who have a big international dimension to their activities and all the latest software, to conduct a modelling patronage analysis for Oudenarde (the proposed railway halt in Perth and Kinross near Bridge of Earn) and Newburgh.

The reply from the Fife Council official says that once this report’s findings are received, the councils, SEStran, TACtran and Transport Scotland, would be in a position to assess whether to consider a full STAG to assess the viability of additional transport modes for this area. It is also maintained that available funding for this would not be sourced until the 2014/15 finaccial year at the earliest.

Although this is welcome, the campaign still needs to press the Councils, particularly Fife Council, and ask further questions, directly by ourselves and through our local MSPs. The Scottish Government’s Minister for Transport and Transport Scotland should also be copied into these lines of enquiry.

By introducing Oudenarde into the immediate transport planning equation for the area, Perth and Kinross Council are in danger of putting energy and focus into a site which is fraught with difficulty – this site is situated on land which, it is understood, is at risk of flooding and rising water tables. The reservations on the development at Oudenarde are also reflected in the Tay Plan, where under the relevant Unresolved Issues, Shell UK, amongst others, make a query due to one of their pipe lines running through the site.

While a station at Oudenarde might make sense if and when a direct Perth to Edinburgh railway line re-emerges, it should not be seen as a priority at this time.

On the other hand a rail halt in Newburgh really is a no brainer and of direct, immediate benefit to the Newburgh and Abernethy (and Bridge of Earn) areas.

The deferment of action for a full transport appraisal continues in the assertion about funding. This really needs to be challenged and a proper priority given to this appraisal as the Tay Plan, signed off by the Scottish Government in 2012, makes clear.

The campaign also needs to ensure that our communities and representatives have sight of the MVA/Systra report as soon as it is available, so its findings can be scrutinised by all, and the communities themselves are given voice in the discussions as to whether or not a full STAG transport appraisal is required. We must demand as stakeholders to be included.

The Things To Do  page has a specimen letter to help all campaign supporters to send off their emails or letters to those who are managing this process. A window of opportunity is slowly opening and the campaign to reopen the station at Newburgh needs to ensure it is fully opened and taken advantage of because such an opportunity will not be available again for quite a few years yet.
How Things Stood January 2014

A station/halt at Newburgh is included in the Tay Plan’s transport plans for the region.

We are in frequent correspondence with MSP’s, local councillors, council officers and office bearers in the public transport planning authorities. We have also done a Newburgh and areas household survey, which shows that 90% of people surveyed would like and use a rail halt at Newburgh (See Household Survey page and download the form to fill it in in if you have not done so already).

Through campaign pressure Fife Council and SESTRAN (South East Scotland Transport Partnership) have recently engaged with Perth and Kinross Council and TACTRAN (Tayside and Central Scotland Transport Partnership) to share in the transport appraisal for Newburgh and area. Transport Scotland has indicated willingness to provide some funding for this, achieved through considerable campaigning efforts, but Fife Council have been slow to commit funds which is why Perth and Kinross Council have been drawn in.

The relevant area transport partnerships too are involved with SESTRAN being very supportive of a station at Newburgh. Perth and Kinross Council are keen to see times of train journeys between Inverness and Perth shortened as well as stations in its area along this route served. It also wants to keep the option of a Bridge of Earn/ Oedenarde station on the table and does not appear to be concerned about the advantages a Newburgh station would have for Abernethy. Fife Council officials by contrast are well into their part in the second Forth road crossing, itself a considerable piece of finance that dwarfs by a factor of millions the cost of a study for a transport appraisal of Newburgh and its catchment area.

It suits Fife Council and Perth and Kinross Council to play a wait and see game rather than commit funds to a study to appraise the transport needs of Newburgh and area as promised in the Tay Plan and approved on publication by the Scottish Government. The cost would be around £75,000 and be carried out in accordance with Scottish Transport Advice Guidance (STAG), the first step towards assesssing what an area’s transport needs are, including the possible scenario of a train service and station, alongside road improvements and bus service. The two councils have suggested there may be funds available in the next financial year, 2014/2015, but they are not giving any guarantees. This is why the more people in Newburgh and Abernethy who write/email the contacts given on the next page the better. So far 90% of 70% of households in Newburgh say they want a station and would use it regularly in both a northward and southward direction. By contacting the list of officials and political representatives given on the Things To Do page  and calling on them to stop dilly-dallying and get a move on with a transport appraisal for Newburgh along the lines of a STAG, this expression of support becomes very real and potent, reinforcing the overwhelming statistical evidence of public feeling and support in Newburgh and ensuring the right practical steps are taken to see it has a very real chance of becoming a reality.

Please read this page for current news, updates and context.  If it gives you ideas for ways you could be involved on a personal basis then come along to one of our meetings to discuss this or email