As City Councillor for the area of Dundee’s railway station throughout my eight years on Dundee City Council, and as the Council’s Planning & Transport Convener and Chair of TACTRAN, the regional transport partnership – both for two years – I have long campaigned for improvements to the station. The people of Dundee rightly feel that the station requires a major modernisation.
During my period as TACTRAN Chair, I met with the Regional Director of Network Rail in Scotland and – in raising the need for Dundee station refurbishment – it struck me that intense negotiation was going to be required with Network Rail, and with other partner organisations such as First ScotRail, Scottish Enterprise and Scottish Government. What is clear, however, is that Dundee has not had a fair share of rail capital funding improvements. My entry on www.dundeewestend.com back in April of this year (see http://tinyurl.com/dundeerail) pointed out :
“Network Rail announced plans for a new roof for Waverley Station in Edinburgh as part of a £130 million overhaul of the station. It comes on top of some £190 million announced last May for Edinburgh Haymarket.”
Only yesterday, the Glasgow Evening Times reported in relation to Dalmarnock Station :
The SNP Government’s Strategic Transport Projects Review failed to commit to improving Dundee Station – a very disappointing outcome. We need to see a commitment from government as well as railway industry to improving the station.
Last week, the media highlighted the City Council’s latest proposals to improve the station. Go to http://tinyurl.com/stvedundee to read a report and see the TV news item from STV – “£10 million Dundee rail station plan revealed.”
As a former member of the Dundee Waterfront Board, I was surprised to see the figure of £10 million being bandied about. I reproduce below an e-mail I have since sent to Mike Galloway, the City Council’s City Development Director. I think we need transarency and answers to the points I have made :
Subject : Rail Station Refurbishment
I refer to media reports regarding the “Plans for £10m railway station revamp” (The Courier; 24th September – the Press and Journal and STV reported the same cost figure).
Given that your presentation to the Waterfront Board in Q4 2008 on the station study referred to 2 comparative estimated costs of :
OPTION 1 : £33m
OPTION 2 : £34.5m
I am extremely surprised at the £10m figure now being quoted. Even if the cost of commercial office and hotel building was removed from the 2008 figures, the total cost is very substantially in excess of £10 million.
Can you please give me an indication as to what revised proposals consist of, reassurance that the revised much lower intended cost will actually deliver the sort of quality improvement to the station that everyone in the city wishes to see and that the revised proposals are financially robust?
Can you also indicate to me when a report will be given to all elected members through either the City Development or Policy & Resources Committee?
Cllr Fraser Macpherson
Councillor for the West End
Liberal Democrat Group Leader – Dundee City Council