Gavin Strang MP will hold a public meeting at 7.30pm on Thursday 18 March at Lady Loretto School, Newbigging, Musselburgh as part of Labour’s Big Conversation.
Speaking in advance of the meeting, Gavin Strang said:
‘Improved transport links in the greater Edinburgh area are vital for continued economic growth. Greater investment in the railway infrastructure is crucial if we are to have a modern transport system making it easier for people and goods to travel speedily to their destination.
‘As a staunch supporter of a Musselburgh Parkway station, the last few years have been a rollercoaster ride.
‘The Parkway station was part of GNER’s bid for the East Coast Mainline franchise. However that franchise competition was abandoned in 2001.
‘Then last February the Strategic Rail Authority (SRA) announced that it no longer supported the case for a parkway station. GNER then said that it could not lead such a large infrastructure development.
‘But the story has moved on.
‘At the end of January the SRA advertised the new East Coast Mainline franchise to bidders. The new franchise, planned to start in April 2005, is expected to be for 7 to 10 years.
‘The franchising process provides a new opportunity to step up the campaign for a Musselburgh parkway station.
‘A Parkway station at Musselburgh would be great news. Rail would be more attractive than the car for commuters, and the train would be more convenient than the plane for longer distance travellers.
‘The local economy would benefit from improved transport links for business to Edinburgh or out into East Lothian. Our environment would also benefit, as fewer people would choose to drive or take the plane.
‘The near certainty that Queen Margaret University College will be transferring to its new campus around 2007 makes the case for a Parkway station at Musselburgh stronger than ever.
‘Everyone must get on board – the Government, the SRA, the successful bidder for the franchise, the local authority and the Scottish Executive. It’s time to get Musselburgh Parkway back on track.’