BREAKDOWNS in the communication chain have contributed to a lack of progress on a new train station in Barrhead. 

Emails obtained by the Barrhead News show frustrations at failing to meet deadlines by staff at Transport Scotland which, at times, were missed by more than a month.

Proposals from the City Deal team at East Renfrew-shire Council for a new multi-million pound train station to the south of the town were put forward for scrutiny to Transport Scotland, in January 2017. However, feedback was not given to council officials for around two months.

Despite this, the council says the City Deal project will still be delivered by the target date of 2021.

A council spokesman said: “We remain committed to delivering a railway station at Barrhead South, which is a key part of our £44 million Glasgow City Region City Deal investment for the area.

“While some potential capacity issues have been identified, due to anticipated improvements to capacity of trains in the future, it is expected increased demand from a new station will be manageable. 

“With so many technical aspects to this project we continue to work closely with colleagues from SPT, Transport Scotland and Network Rail and expect to deliver this by 2021.”

In the emails to the council, the transport agency highlights the lack of progress made on proposals between January 2017 and 2018 at the council.

After the initial Barrhead South station framework was put forward for consideration, an updated report was compiled by the council and contractors who addressed issues raised in the initial report to Transport Scotland.

As of the beginning of 2018, Transport Scotland staff had claimed in emails the issues highlighted in March 2017 remain “largely unanswered”.

A Transport Scotland spokesman said: “Our officials have been working closely with East Renfrewshire Council on plans for a new station at Barrhead South.  As for all rail and road projects, we need to review any appraisal reports in sufficient detail to consider any issues raised. 

“Where studies, such as this one, include rail options, there is very often a need to consider potential wider implications than the study area itself.”

The introduction of a new train station on the proposed Barrhead South site could serve up to 500,000 passengers a year.  But the increase in numbers on the Neilston to Glasgow line, on which the station would be added, could see hundreds more commuters forced to stand every morning as a result.

ScotRail bosses  assure users of the line that longer trains will be made available ahead of any new station opening.