I am talking about this on both local radio stations’ news this morning – Wave 102 and Radio Tay – click ‘play’ below to listen:
As I am sitting on a train at the moment, it seems sort of appropriate to update an item I highlighted back in August – the unsatisfactory traffic signalling arrangements on Riverside Drive for drivers turning right (ie from the east) towards the railway station.
A roads safety officer at the City Council has now updated me as follows :
“The filter lane signal has never worked properly and the sensors were removed. The traffic signal engineers have informed me the filter signal head could be removed.
I have just returned from a meeting regarding the phasing of roadworks for the Dundee Central Waterfront project. The road layout round the railway station will be altered in the near future and the signalised junctions will become redundant. I do not propose to undertake any alterations in this area in the meantime.”
* This evening’s Evening Telegraph notes my welcome for nearly £60 000 of funding for a new community and arts centre at Dundee Rail Station, butI also point out the need for substantial investment to improve the station, particularly as it is adjacent to the site of the proposed V&A in Dundee.
A former Minister of Transport for Scotland, Mr Scott believes that the city’s rail station is badly in need of modernisation – it is in poor aesthetic condition and has poor facilities. Given the key improvements to Dundee Waterfront, with funding started by the LibDem/Labour Executive prior to 2007, it is vital that the city has a rail station in the waterfront area that does not sit out like an embarrassing sore thumb next to the proposed V&A and other major improvements along the waterfront of the city.
Tavish made clear that it requires the working together of all stakeholders – primarily Scottish Government/Transport Scotland, Network Rail, First ScotRail, the local authority, the regional transport partnership TACTRAN and Scottish Enterprise if the council’s vision of an improved rail station is to become reality. The failure to give the station priority in the Scottish Government’s Strategic Transport Projects Review in December 2008 was a missed opportunity.
Tavish was also in Dundee to support the adoption of Dr Clive Sneddon as Scottish Liberal Democrat Westminster candidate for Dundee East and also visited the University of Abertay to see the university’s expertise in computer games education.
Tavish Scott, Leader of the Scottish Liberal Democrats, was interviewed by Wave 102, Radio Tay, STV, the Courier, the Evening Telegraph and the Press and Journal during his visit to Dundee today. You can hear his comments on Wave 102 news, supporting Dundee’s campaign for an improved railway station, by clicking going to : http://tinyurl.com/wave102tavish
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 :
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
I recently wrote a response to a concern raied in the “Evening Telegraph” by a visitor to the city about eyesores on entry to the city by train – including the former Homebase site on Riverside Drive (covered in graffiti) and the railway station’s condition.
The Network Rail Director subsequently addressed a meeting of the full TACTRAN Board and the issue of Dundee Rail Station was again raised.
Earlier this month, 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.