Golf Street and Barry Links are safe - for now!

Golf Street station, Carnoustie.
Golf Street station, Carnoustie.

CARNOUSTIE rail users will be relieved to hear that two local stations are not on a hit-list for closure.

Golf Street and Barry Links stations have been identified as among the least used stations in Scotland, according to a Network Rail report entitled the Initial Industry for Scotland.

Barry Links station.

Barry Links station.

In it, Golf Street was reportedly used by 190 people in 2009/10 with Barry Links clocking in at the lowest in Scotland with just 90.

A direct correlation was made by some suggesting that this earmarked the two stations for closure, but Network Rail were quick to deny this.

A spokesperson for Network Rail said: “The Initial Industry Plan sets out how the railway is being utilised now and how that may develop in the future.

“The document does not recommend any course of action regarding these stations – it simply outlines which stations in the country are the least busy.

“Any decision about the future of stations is a matter for the government and is informed by socio-economic as well as operational factors.”

Network Rail own and run the railways themselves, but it is the responsibility of the government to tender franchises to rail companies to provide services.

As part of this franchise agreement the government agrees with the company how many trains stop at each station and so on.

Councillor Helen Oswald said: “It would be very sad if we were to lose what services we have. Rail companies need to get their thinking caps on and think about people commuting every day.

“Perhaps a service which could run inside the main timetable. A wee single bus train up and down the line.

“When we moved here 35 years ago there was a local train every hour. If there were more trains people would use them.

“Now people often have to change in Dundee and wait 20 or 30 minutes to come back to Carnoustie after they have just hurtled through here on the train. Why?”

Community Council chairperson Jim Simpson agrees with this assessment and believes Golf Street could be a busy terminal for commuters living at the Dundee end of the town.

He said: “In one case we are looking for them to put on more trains at rush hour so more people will use them.”

Mr Simpson is keen rail companies do not use these findings as an excuse to renegotiate franchises or withdraw services.

He said: “The community council will be making representations to Network Rail on the possible withdrawal of available train services. Obviously any service cuts are a loss to the community.”

Both Councillor Oswald and Mr Simpson agree the stations are vital transport links, especially during golf competition season.

Councillor Oswald said: “Whatever happens, we need to keep these stations operational.”