There's always one!

I have no quarrel with Mr McNaughton’s history lesson from the 1960s, though he does not seem to appreciate that British Rail was trying its best to close every single branch line, no matter how well used, and of course in Scotland only North Berwick escaped. But the implication that because passenger numbers were falling in the 1960s, when the town’s population was something like 9500 and there were only 2000 students, the pattern would be repeated 50 years later is simply not borne out. Rail usage is steadily increasing, despite the massive reductions in the network in the last century. Indeed, every re-opening in Britain since 1995 (and even further back in Scotland) has been used by very many more passengers than predicted and, despite the oft-repeated ‘St Andrews is different’ mantra, there is absolutely nothing to suggest that the Home of Golf would buck this trend. I fear that Mr McNaughton’s 25-year residence in Edinburgh has reduced his awareness of what is actually going on in his native town, despite his subscription to the Citizen.

Of course we have to wait until we see the results of the feasibility study but the signs are that, far from being uneconomic, a modern rail service would actually boost the economy, which one would have thought to be very necessary over the next few years.