Battle stations

Labour politicians believe there is a threat to the future of Airbles Station
Labour politicians believe there is a threat to the future of Airbles Station

Labour politicians in Motherwell have poured scorn on the Transport Minister’s claims that Airbles Station is not under threat of closure.

As reported in last week’s Motherwell Times, Airbles is one of 14 stations listed in Transport Scotland’s Rail 2014 consultation document.

This list is presented as a complete record of all stations which have an alternative less than a mile away on the same route.

Motherwell and Wishaw MP Frank Roy believes Transport Scotland would not have named Airbles Station if it’s future wasn’t in doubt.

However, Transport Minister Keith Brown denied to the Motherwell Times there are any plans to close stations.

“He said: “There are no plans to close rail stations in Motherwell, or any other part of Scotland for that matter.

“In Motherwell, as in other parts of the country, population changes over the decades may highlight areas where new stations will improve access and mean more people travelling by train.”

However, he refused to justify why each of the 14 stations had been selected for the list and why many more such as the two Hamilton stations, which are less than a mile apart, have not been included.

In a bid to get an answer Motherwell and Wishaw MSP John Pentland has submitted a parliamentary question to Mr Brown which requests a complete list of railway stations less than a mile from another station, and reasons why each station is included or excluded from consultation.”

Mr Roy says he understands what is happening.

He said: “Clearly Airbles Station has been put on the list to see what sort of reaction they get. Those which get the least local opposition will be the easiest ones to close - that’s how it works.”

Motherwell South East and Ravenscraig councillors Kaye Harmon and Tom Lunny, and Motherwell West councillor Paul Kelly this week added their voices to the opposition.

Full story in January 29 edition of Motherwell Times