A Sceptic Writes

Mr Beech’s letter is somewhat long but the main points/questions asked are as follows:

• Why did it take 20 years for the Starlink campaign to get underway; ‘most of the other railways’ (unspecified) ‘threatened with closure at the same time started their fights straight away.’

• How many people does Starlink represent?

• The strategy has changed over the years from calling for ‘an hourly service’ (I think Mr Beech means journey time, not frequency) to Edinburgh to over an hour to the airport.

• 20 minutes to Dundee is no use for people shopping the town centre, and what about Guardbridge, St Michaels and Drumoig.

• The money spent on lights on the cycle-path between St Andrews and Guardbridge will have been wasted because cyclists will all take the train.

* The Old Course Hotel will have something to say about the proximity of the line. (Agreed; they have already been invited to say it, but so far have not responded.)

• What about the environmental impact of the embankment and viaduct on the view of the town to visitors? (These may not be necessary after all; another option is being worked up.)

* £76M only basic cost; ‘in reality it will cost a lot more’. Who will finance it?

• It will ‘inevitably’ start to lose money; will the tax-payer be ‘expected to pick up the tab?’

* The old railway closed because of falling passenger numbers and revenue and nothing has changed.

* A railway doesn’t mean people will switch from cars, because ‘train fares are very expensive.’ (Not borne out by the successful re-openings of e.g. Stirling-Alloa, Airdrie-Bathgate and Larkhall-Milnagavie.)

Anybody wishing to respond to Mr Beech’s concerns should e-mail:


preferably by Monday for inclusion in next week’s paper.