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St Rollox Railway Works

Volume 663: debated on Monday 22 July 2019

The petition of Residents of Glasgow,

Declares that the permanent closure of St Rollox Railway Works would lose hundreds of well-paid jobs; further that the restoration of Garratt steam locomotive ‘Springbok’ which was originally built in Springburn and is currently decaying in the Summerlee Heritage Park, Coatbridge would provide an excellent project to maintain the workforce until a new operator for the site could be found; further that the restoration of a steam engine for heritage purposes would not engage state-aid restriction; further that there is a need for the UK and Scottish Governments to collaborate on finding a sustainable railway engineering use for the St Rollox Railway Works site to extend the current 160 years of industrial excellence and railway engineering in Springburn; further notes that signatures have been collected on another petition to save the St Rollox Railway Works.

The petitioners therefore request that the House of Commons urges the Government to work with the Scottish Government to jointly financially support the restoration of the Garratt steam locomotive ‘Springbok’ and to use the time thus provided to identify a new operator to guarantee the future of the St Rollox Railway Works.

And the petitioners remain, etc.—[Presented by Mr Paul Sweeney, Official Report, 10 July 2019; Vol. 663, c. 412.]


Observations from the Parliamentary Under-Secretary of State for Transport (Andrew Jones):

When the possible closure of the St Rollox works was debated in the House of Commons earlier this year, colleagues and I recognised the historical importance of the site, and agreed that the closure and associated job losses would have a significant impact on the local economy. I noted then the proposal that those with an interest in the site might find a new arrangement that allows continued operation at the site on a commercial basis and in the interest of all parties.

I recognise the importance of the rail supply chain. Thousands of individual companies have helped to deliver a safe railway with relatively high passenger satisfaction against the background of a doubling of passenger numbers since privatisation. These companies are also significant employers in the communities where they operate and make an important contribution to the UK economy.

Both delivery of rail services and economic development are devolved matters. I would encourage local partners to continue to work together to deliver a suitable outcome.