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Glasgow-East Kilbride Railway

Volume 173: debated on Wednesday 6 June 1990

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To ask the Secretary of State for Scotland if he has received the submission from the East Kilbride development corporation and ScotRail to build a new railway station in East Kilbride and to extend the Glasgow-East Kilbride railway; and if he will make a statement.

The submission from East Kilbride development corporation and ScotRail on the building of a new railway station in East Kilbride has been received and is being considered. I expect to announce a decision soon.

Is the Minister aware that the long delay in reaching a decision on this matter is causing serious anxiety and uncertainty to householders who will lose their homes if the development goes ahead? Will he explain why it has taken so long to reach a decision on what is, after all, a relatively straightforward matter of extending a railway line a few hundred yards and building a modern up-to-date railway station to service the needs of commuters to and from East Kilbride? Will he give me an assurance that the answer that he has just given means that we shall receive a decision from the Minister in a matter of weeks, not of long, weary months?

I assure the hon. Gentleman that "soon" means soon. It is important that such decisions are carefully considered in the normal way. That includes an economic appraisal. That matter is in hand and I hope to set the hon. Gentleman's mind at rest in early course.

Will my hon. Friend confirm the importance of the Glasgow-East Kilbride line to the people of Eastwood? Will he congratulate Strathclyde region on putting new rolling stock on the Glasgow-East Kilbride line and the Glasgow-Barrhead line? On the point about reopening stations raised by the hon. Member for East Kilbride (Mr. Ingram), is not it encouraging that several new railway stations are being opened in the Greater Glasgow area—one example being Dumbreck, which is only five minutes from where I live?

I agree with my hon. Friend. As a result of a grant from my right hon. and learned Friend the Secretary of State of about £30 million two years ago, there has been a substantial expansion and improvement in the rolling stock in Strathclyde. Last year about five stations were opened or reopened. This year 10 stations are scheduled to be reopened in the Strathclyde area, including Dumbreck, to which my hon. Friend referred.