ANNOUNCED BY IAN BLACKFORD MP THIS MORNING:
STROMEFERRY BYPASS ROAD CLOSURE:
I am delighted to learn that following constructive talks, adjustments to operations at the site of the closure look likely to go ahead, in the expectation that this will ease the dreadful waiting times that we have consistently seen at the site.
Network Rail and the Office of Rail and Road, have agreed a new operations document for an alternative signalling system.
Installation of fixed signals and a magnet warning system is scheduled to begin in the next week barring any last minute hitches.
The new system will require trains to stop at a point adjacent to the site (points to be agreed). The train driver will communicate with the signaller who will then contact the site controller of site safety (coss). Trains will then proceed through the works when the signaller instructs the train.
The road rail bypass can then re-open when agreed by the coss/ signaller .
This will allow longer opening times based on the train schedule rather than the existing long token section.
This has the potential to be great news and work now must be put in place to make these plans a reality. I would like to put on record my gratitude to Network Rail for listening to concerns.
I am also aware, from the work that I have been involved in on this, that these changes would not be possible without the intervention of the Scottish Government's Transport Secretary, Michael Matheson MSP. I hope now that we can move forward from what has been an extremely trying situation for local communities.