IT'S time to put Glasgow Crossrail back on the political agenda.

A vital ‘east-west’ connection, Crossrail has been described as the missing link in Scotland’s rail network.

While the infrastructure needed to deliver Crossrail would be built in Glasgow, the benefits would extend far beyond the city to communities like Inverclyde.

Right now there are no direct rail services from Inverclyde through to Edinburgh or any major destination to the north or east of Central Station.

Most passengers travelling on services from Inverclyde and the West who want to head to Edinburgh, for example, will have to change over to Queen Street in the city centre. Too often, it can be inconvenient and time-consuming.

By joining up the City Union line with rail services into Central the need for those change overs would be drastically reduced and in many cases eliminated altogether.

Imagine the difference it could make, getting on a train at Greenock and being able to continue on that same train, on that same journey through Glasgow city centre and onwards to Edinburgh, Dundee or central Scotland.
Crossrail provides the infrastructure that could allow it to happen. Better transport and more connected journeys are not just good for commuters but for the economy as a whole.

Crossrail could transform Scotland’s rail network, getting more people switching to public transport and joining up communities across the west with the nation’s capital and the rest of the country. It could bring more people and businesses into Inverclyde, supporting employment in the local economy and potentially tackling depopulation.

As I have said in the Tele before, the geography of Inverclyde makes transport links like the A8 and the railway absolutely vital. These are the main routes in and out of the community.

But while the A8 delivers motorists to Scotland’s main trunk route and a whole range of road connections, rail services must terminate at the city centre and passengers have to change over to make an onward journey.

Scotland deserves world-class, future-proofed infrastructure.

Yet the country is being held back by under-investment, local passengers have to put up with substandard rolling stock like the Class 314s and there is a complete absence of vision when it comes to public transport from the SNP Government and Transport Scotland.

Passengers in Inverclyde are among those who stand to gain from better, easier journeys to a wider range of destinations with Crossrail. That why I want the Scottish Government to get on board.