Funding denied by Fife Council

St Andrews councillors on the North East Fife Area Committee of Fife Council led the refusal of a request for £7,000 to ensure that the full £40,000 from the Scottish Government can be drawn down for the appraisal.

As reported in
The Courier, St Andrews members Brian Thomson (Labour) and Ann Verner (SNP) refused support apparently on the grounds that they would prefer that the money in this fund, earmarked for the St Andrews ward until the end of March, be used for ‘more immediate’ projects. This suggested that they were considering the construction of the railway itself rather than the first 2 parts of the STAG evaluation, which is what the request for actually for and has to be completed by March 2020. The two councillors also expressed concern about the effect a railway might have upon the St Andrews Links property, although they neglected to mention that they sat respectively upon the Links Management Committee and Links Trust.

Supporting the application Liberal Democrat Cllr Tim Brett pointed out that the STAG would produce useful information about traffic flow and congestion in and around St Andrews, because it has to identify a problem/opportunity and then come up with all possible solutions, which are gradually sifted out. It was also brought to the committee’s attention that the national campaigning group Railfuture had agreed a grant of £1,000 from their Fighting Fund, double the usual amount. He was supported by Conservative Cllr Andy Heer and SNP Cllr David McDiarmuid.

The committee voted 8-3 to refuse the application.

StARLink is obviously disappointed at this outcome but is confident that the shortfall can be found before the deadline of March 2020. In the meantime the first part of the STAG, ‘The Case for Change’ is already underway with results due in April.

The Courier report can be found at: