A sceptic's view

The writer of the letters to the Courier and Citizen, Mr Allan Chalmers, in effect repeated what he has said in previous letters. He considers that there is ‘no need’ for a railway. Presumably this means that he manages very well without one, and if so, jolly good luck to him.

However, Mr Chalmers is missing the point. The main issue is people coming into the town for work, study or leisure, not those living here who are travelling out. It is telling that while Mr Chalmers speaks of commuters and tourists, he omits to mention students and golfers, who are responsible for a significant number of the journeys in and out of town. The overflowing car-park at Leuchars Station and the relative emptiness of the buses tell their own story about how acceptable using buses or taxis to reach the railway is; certainly, there are proposals for 100 new car-parking spaces, but as 4 dozen cars are regularly parked along Station Road, half of these will immediately be filled. The official usage figures for Leuchars Station 2013-14 are over half a million passengers, most of whom are going to and from St Andrews, and it is unlikely they could all fit into the buses, even if they chose to use them.

Mr Chalmers also ignores the environmental aspect. The most environmentally-friendly way to transport large numbers of people is by rail. Increasing car use contributes to climate change, is polluting, causes congestion and damages road surfaces.

Mr Chalmers concludes by claiming, ‘It ain’t broke so don’t fix it.’ Many people would disagree.