Levenmouth rail link to be reopened in £70 million project
The reopening of a rail link to Levenmouth in Fife has been announced in a project estimated to be worth £70 million.
As part of Levenmouth Sustainable Transport Study, the proposal of a link with stops in Leven and Cameron Bridge emerged as the preferred option, combined with improved bus services as well as cycling and walking routes.
Research suggested there will be 750,000 passengers boarding or alighting trains in the area each year by 2037.
It comes 50 years after passenger services were halted on the route.
Transport Minister Michael Matheson confirmed the project will now go forward to the detailed design phase.
He also committed an additional £5 million to a Levenmouth Blueprint fund.
Mr Matheson said: “I am extremely pleased that the case has been made for the Levenmouth rail link and I look forward to seeing this project being taken forward to the next stages of design.
“The detailed appraisal work that has been carried out suggests that improved transport links, which give Leven a direct rail link to the capital, will lead to an enhanced local economy, bringing better access to employment and education and the potential for new investment.
“Easier and more sustainable travel options will make it easier for people to reach hospitals, schools and visit other areas of the country as well as giving better access to Levenmouth.
“I would like to acknowledge the hard work of local MSPs, elected members and interest groups who have campaigned for the reopening of this line and I look forward to working with all partners to realise all of the benefits that improved connectivity can bring.”
The train journey time from Leven to Edinburgh is expected to take approximately 70 to 75 minutes.
Scottish Lib Dem leader and North East Fife MSP Willie Rennie said: “Grit, charm and bloody-mindedness has won the campaign to bring back the railway to Levenmouth.
“The Levenmouth Rail Campaign, with the staunch support of local people, has persuaded the authorities that there would be a powerful economic, social and environmental benefit with the reopening of the line.
“I’m delighted with this progress. Let’s get it built now.”