Starlink responds to Government consultation

Starlink formal response to modified Structure Plan

Strategic Transport Proposals
POLICY T2: Safeguarding of Existing and Potential Transport Routes

The following routes and land will be safeguarded from development that may prejudice their existing or future transportation use:


• St Andrews public transport route


I object to the wording 'public transport route' because it is too general and only applies to a small area on the edge of St Andrews. The wording in the previous Fife Structure Plan was 'land for the St Andrews railway line and station' which was better. 'Public transport route' could simply mean a bus corridor. The fear is that the 'safeguarding' may not be strong enough to protect the land required for the best route for a rail connection from the main line into St Andrews from development, such as for a 'link road', thus making reinstatement of the railway more difficult. Since the traffic growth into St Andrews has continued to rise, I believe by 2.5% per annum, since the last Structure Plan was published it is hard to see why 'railway line and station' has been watered down to 'public transport route', especially as the actual route is not specified in the plan.

The old route I suppose is protected by the first item in the list in T2, i.e.

'the disused railway network including land previously used for stations and sidings'

though it is not clear if that safeguarding applies to part of the network which has now been developed to some extent. However those developments and the requirements of 21st-century travellers, as opposed to those of the 1960s, may well mean that the best route for a new service is quite different from the old one, and indeed such a new route was been identified by a study in 1999 (Fife and South Tayside Rail Study - Scott Wilson). That route enjoys very limited protection under the current plan's wording which would surely be reduced to nothing under the new wording. Furthermore such general phraseology does not sit well with

'to further consider options for connecting St Andrews to the rail network in the review of the Local Transport Strategy' (The Development Strategy - Improving Accessibility 1.18)

if all that is to be safeguarded is an unspecific 'public transport link' rather than land for a railway line. Nor is it likely to lead to the safeguarding of a suitable route for a railway in the emerging St Andrews & North East Fife Local Plan (3.63).

Not only would a railway to St Andrews reduce the increase in traffic to and from St Andrews, it would also cut the amount of through-traffic in Cupar and without the increased emissions that a road bypass would bring. That is why the wording of the previous Fife Structure Plan must be reinstated to safeguard 'land for the St Andrews railway line and station'.