Minister for Transport and Islands, Derek Mackay, formally launched the Strathallan Community Rail Partnership on 15th December.
The announcement was made at Gleneagles Station, which benefitted from a recent £7 million upgrade ahead of the 2014 Ryder Cup.
This new partnership, funded by Transport Scotland and the Abellio ScotRail franchise, aims to foster greater community engagement between the railway, the public and local business.
The Strathallan CRP covers an area including Bridge of Allan, Dunblane and Gleneagles with communities in the wider Strathallan and Strathearn area participating. It has the support of organisations such as Perth and Kinross Council, Stirling Council, and the community councils covering Dunblane, Bridge of Allan and Crieff as well as ScotRail, Network Rail and the Regional Transport Partnership – Tactran.
This is the first Community Rail Partnership to be launched under the Abellio ScotRail franchise. It represents a key milestone in the Scottish Government’s commitment to encourage and facilitate deeper community engagement in the rail network across Scotland.
Phil Verster, managing director of the ScotRail Alliance, said: “Our vision of Connecting Scotland, growing the railway, and growing the economy is embodied in the new Strathallan Community Rail Partnership which links a number of communities in the area. We look forward to continuing to work with Strathallan CRP and to encourage even more people to use the train.”
Mr Roger Brickell, chair of the Strathallan CRP, said: “I am delighted CRP status has been conferred and look forward to our members driving community involvement in our local railway line and stations. Working together in partnership will achieve positive outcomes – and it is hoped more visitors will travel into the area. A steering group formed in November last year will now take forward an action plan and also launch a recruitment drive for more members at two public meetings.”
The public meetings – to be held on 19 January in Aytoun Hall, Auchterarder, and 9 February at Honeyman Hall, Bridge of Allan Parish Church – will be an opportunity for more people to become involved in the CRP.