Consultation launched into Abronhill station proposals



Written by Scott Campbell, Cumbernauld Media's Senior Reporter.

Published at 14:16 on 5 June 2015


North Lanarkshire Council



14-07-2014 - By Scott Campbell (+44) 0774 296 870 - Official opening of Cumbernauld railway station, by Jamie Hepburn MSP; Picture 23.
Picture: Scott Campbell for Cumbernauld Media.

RESIDENTS of Cumbernauld are being asked to make their views known on recently re-opened proposals to establish a railway station in Abronhill. 

North Lanarkshire Council confirmed last month they were tendering for applicants to come forward in a competition which would see the successful candidates undertake a Strategic Transport Appraisal Guidance (STAG) report into the viability of three proposed railway stations.

Stations at Abronhill, Glenboig and Plains will be looked at as part of the report, which has been commissioned by North Lanarkshire Council and Strathclyde Partnership for Transport (SPT).

The report will look at current transport issues locally, solutions to these problems, in addition to the pros and cons of the solutions identified, as well as undertaking economic assessment of these perceived solutions.

Further analysis will also be undertaken to assess the impact upon the wider rail network and existing timetables, in an exercise that will take around 12 months to complete.

Announcing the tender for interested applicants to come forward, last month, Graham MacKay, Head of Roads and Transportation at North Lanarkshire Council said: "Our reports indicated that creating stations at Abronhill, Glenboig and Plains would help address issues of deprivation, high unemployment and access to jobs and education, as well as being technically feasible.”

He added: "The Scottish Government advised us that a STAG report is required before they can consider using the Scottish Stations Fund. So we will be appointing a company to do the specialist research and assessment work required and then use the report to bid from money from the Fund.

"The council is fully committed to stations for Plains, Abronhill and Glenboig and has set aside £2 million within the capital budget for match funding."

The debate over whether Abronhill should have its own railway station dates all the way back to the Greater Glasgow Transportation Study, of 1968 – when the area was first named as a prospective site.

The Network Management Statement (NMS) from Railtrack PLC, in 1999, suggested that “the construction of a new station at Abronhill” would be a “requirement” for both ScotRail and SPT if they were to improve rail services in to the 21st century.

Then, in 2009, the then Central Scotland MSP, Jamie Hepburn undertook a survey into the issue of a new railway station for Abronhill, which was said to have revealed a high level of support for a railway station in the community.

Today (5th June), however, the proposals look closer than ever, with three consultation events planned in the three prospective communities being looked at.

A consultation event in Plains will take place on Monday 15th June, between 3pm and 8pm at Plains Community Centre, Main Street, Plains ML6 7JG.

Glenboig will hold the second consultation event, on Wednesday 17th June, between 3pm and 8pm. The event will take place at Glenboig Community Centre, Main Street, Glenboig ML5 2SY

The third and final consultation event will take place at Abronhill’s Community Centre, on Thursday 18th June. It will take place between 3pm and 8pm.

Anybody who might be unable to attend the events but who would still like to comment, can contact the council’s project consultants, Grontmij, with your views and ideas.

The e-mail addresses to contact are: plainsconsultation@grontmij.com; glenboigconsultation@grontmij.com; and, abronhillconsultation@grontmij.com, while the deadline for comments has been set at June 22nd.

Cumbernauld and Kilsyth SNP MSP Jamie Hepburn has welcomed the news that North Lanarkshire Council will investigate the feasibility of a railway station for the Abronhill area of Cumbernauld. 

Mr Hepburn has been a long-time supporter of the idea that a third station for the town should be added to the Cumbernauld railway line at Abronhill, having previously undertaken an extensive survey of the area on the matter.  

Welcoming the announcement, the area’s MSP said: “I have campaigned for a new railway station for Abronhill for a long time, as I believe it would be a valuable addition to the transport network in the area.  And having surveyed opinion in Abronhill on the idea, I believe it would be popular locally and well used too.”

The SNP man added: “This latest development is very welcome and I hope that the appraisal that the Council commissions for an Abronhill railway station demonstrates its viability and necessity. 

“I look forward to seeing its conclusions down the line and I will also continue to push the case for the station wherever appropriate.”