Citizen letter - North Berwick

The St Andrews Citizen printed a letter from the convenor, suggesting why North Berwick might have been named as the best place in the UK to live.

Following a letter the previous week in which that prolific correspondent, Name & Address Supplied, had compared North Berwick very favourably with St Andrews, particularly as regards car-parking though inexplicably failing to mention the former's rail service, the StARLink convenor penned the following:

'The correspondent last week was correct to suggest that North Berwick, recently declared the best place to live in the UK, could provide lessons for St Andrews. I was surprised, though, that no mention was made of the railway connection to the East Lothian town, which, although listed along with St Andrews amongst the stations that BR wished to close in the late 1960s post-Beeching, nevertheless was spared, although the service was slashed to just 2 trains a day in each direction. Today, North Berwick enjoys an hourly service, twice-hourly at peak times, last year carrying 461,000 passengers.

A few years ago, the chair of North Berwick Community Council, when asked about the impact of the railway upon their town, replied, 'The rail link in North Berwick is of enormous value to the community and really I would say that its importance cannot be overstressed given that it is the gateway for thousands of commuters and visitors every year.' As well as commuting, 'The top use of the train is undoubtedly for leisure purposes and when events such as Fringe by the Sea or the Open Golf at Muirfield was on there was extremely high usage.' And what about the vexed issue of car-parking in North Berwick, upon which your correspondent made favourable comments? 'We do get lots of day trippers coming by train and this is welcome as we suffer from severe parking problems.'

Sound familiar? The foregoing does appear to indicate a remedy for reducing the demand for car-parking in St Andrews, while retaining the number of visitors, as well as significantly reducing the amount of vehicular emissions in and around the town.

StARLink would like to thank all readers who participated in the recent Community Engagement component of the St Andrews Transport Study - Detailed Options Appraisal. The report will be submitted to Transport Scotland before Easter, and will be published on our website as soon as possible.'