As previously indicated, Dennistoun Community Council (DCC) has taken the opportunity to respond to the ‘Rail 2014’ public consultation.
The response is largely driven by significant and widespread concern in relation to perceived intention to close Duke Street railway station, and consists of both the pro forma feedback form and a letter incorporating comments made at community council meetings and online.
Amongst other questions, Transport Scotland asked:
“How should we determine what rail stations are required and where, including whether a station should be closed?”
The network of rail stations within Glasgow City Council area is largely fit for purpose. However, there has been significant concern expressed within the Dennistoun Community Council (DCC) area in relation to the inclusion of Duke Street station on a list of stations identified as being located within a mile of each other. The general understanding is that these stations are being highlighted as somehow at risk of closure. Attached to this response is a detailed rationale of why DCC members, and residents across the wider area, are strongly opposed to any suggestion that Duke Street station is at risk of closure. In determining the viability or otherwise of rail stations cognisance must be given to the following:
- area served (including potential for expansion linked to regeneration),
- station quality and availability of amenities (including accessibility),
- linkage with other forms of public transport, and · some assessment of passenger usage trends.
On all of the above grounds Duke Street station cannot be seen as anything other than needed and thriving.
DCC’s supplementary letter:
Dear Sir or Madam,
Dennistoun Community Council’s Response to Rail 2014 Consultation
We are writing on behalf of the Dennistoun community with regard to your Rail 2014 consultation. Your strictly tailored form doesn’t provide the opportunity to address the points we want to raise. We would suggest that a consultation considering the possibility of station closure without the response form permitting discussion of the merits of individual stations does not represent a valid accounting of people’s views.
This response has been drafted after consulting Dennistoun residents via a widely used community website to ensure the comments are as representative as possible.
Local councillors have been assured that there are no definite plans to close any station in Glasgow, yet the consultation paper lists the savings to be made by the closure of stations located less than a mile from other stations. The Fact Sheet issued a month after the consultation document lists Duke Street Station as one of those located within a mile of other stations.
We would be opposed to the closure of Duke Street Station for the reasons enumerated below.
1. Selecting stations for possible closure on the basis that they’re located less than a mile from another station seems flawed to us. In densely populated areas such as Dennistoun this could surely be considered desirable and necessary. Your document listing stations located less than a mile from another station neglects to mention numerous other Glasgow stations located less than a mile from others Queen Street and Central among them. Would you seriously consider closing either of those on that basis?
2. Averaging the £208,000 annual savings among the 11 Glasgow stations noted as being located less than a mile from another station works out at just under £19,000 per station. The money spent upgrading Duke Street station for disability compliance in recent years is far greater than several years worth of proposed savings.
3. Duke Street is the only station in an area with a population in excess of 15,000 that is disability compliant.
4. The costs involved in rendering another Dennistoun station disability compliant would dwarf the annual savings figure.
5. Your own figures show that over 74,000 people now use Duke Street station every year, a figure that has increased by 50% over the past five years and is still increasing.
6. Since the Spring 2011 price rises people in Dennistoun pay a disproportionately high bus fare for a single journey into the city or back, so it’s likely that passenger numbers for 2011 will show another significant increase.
7. Duke Street station is the nearest station in the area to Parkhead Forge shopping centre, and less than a quarter of a mile from the massive new Tesco store in Dennistoun.
8. Figures show that over 60% of Dennistoun’s population don’t have a car, so closing the station would target the people that need it most.
9. Dividing the £19,000 that closing Duke Street Station would save among the 74,000 people that use the station gives a figure of marginally over 25p per passenger per year. Is even considering closing a station for this sum really justifiable?
10. Your consultation document is titled Rail 2014, and 2014 is when the Commonwealth Games take place in venues largely less than a mile from Duke Street Station. While the games are brief in duration, it would not only be local residents inconvenienced by closing the station prior to the event.
11. Any closure of Duke Street station would appear to be at odds with the recent City Plan consultation, which mentioned the possible future construction of a line linking Duke Street with Carntyne station.
12. The possible closure does not take into account the potential future development of an area currently undergoing significant change.
Dennistoun Community Council
PDF version of the response form here.
PDF version of the response letter here.