The following parliamentary exchange on 24th September 2015 sets FoFNL wondering whether we need to ask Highland Council to "get its finger out" re the Lentran Loop. Perhaps the minister would then oblige!
(S4O-04632) Mary Fee (West Scotland) (Lab):
To ask the Scottish Government what plans it has to increase the availability of rail travel in the West Scotland region.
I thank the minister for that answer. "We must develop alternatives to the reliance on the M8 and the road network, which is hard-pushed to cope with demand, particularly at peak times, so with rail now becoming possible once again we should seize the opportunity. What I'm suggesting is the route that would go from Braehead to Glasgow, as this would involve minimal disruption."
Those were the words of Derek Mackay in 2012, before his appointment as transport minister, when he was discussing rail links to Renfrew. Can the transport minister tell me now what he is doing to bring such links to Renfrew?
As a fellow resident of Renfrew - the largest town in Scotland without a railway station I agree with Mary Fee, but I will not let my ministerial interest be compromised. All that needs to happen is for Labour-led Renfrewshire Council to put in an application as promoter of the scheme. However, given that it has failed to do so, I cannot even execute my desire for rail to be extended to the town of Renfrew at Braehead. The £5 billion investment in rail in Scotland is the reason why patronage on the railways is increasing, and that is in addition to the multibillion pound investment in roads. If Mary Fee wants to tell her pals on Renfrewshire Council to get their finger out, I will happily oblige.