Station upgrade is paramount

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MOTHERWELL and Wishaw MSP John Pentland has called on the Scottish Government to ensure that new services and facilities at Motherwell railway station are paramount in considerations on the future of the West Coast Main Line.

Speaking in the Scottish Parliament, Mr Pentland highlighted the investment promised by Virgin for new services and station upgrades at Motherwell as they retained the franchise.

He stated that he wanted to ensure that the development takes place whoever wins the tender to run the line, and called on the Transport Minister to make sure support for the development was prominent in any representations that the Scottish Government makes.

In response Keith Brown claimed the Scottish Government intended to proceed with the stations investment fund and its associated franchising process.

He said: “It is my intention that we will run a proper, sound process that has the time and the resources that are necessary to make it go through without risking challenges to it.”

Speaking afterwards, Mr Pentland said: “Whoever gets the West Coast franchise, or if the line ends up back in public hands, the same arguments hold true.

“In order to increase capacity on this route, Motherwell needs extra services and expanded facilities to match the increase in passenger numbers.

“Getting more people onto the rail network is good for passengers, good for the economy and good for the environment.

“It will be a missed opportunity if the current controversy over the tendering process gets in the way of these gains.”