FIFE COUNCIL’S new administration has renewed its commitment to the provision of a rail halt at Halbeath.

In its draft programme drawn up by SNP and Labour councillors, they pledged to support “strategic transport projects” including the provision of a long-awaited rail terminal.

The £10 million park and ride at Halbeath opened in November 2013 and offers motorists the option of leaving the car behind and hopping on a bus. 

The transport hub has proven popular and there have been persistent calls to add a rail halt, especially as the Fife Circle line runs just to the north of the car park.

This week’s promise of support for the project brings some hope for commuters that a facility could be added in the future.

Back in July last year, the Labour-run administration pushed for the facility’s provision, saying a seven year-old government report contained a proposal for a halt at Halbeath.

Fife Council said the wording of proposed travel improvements indicated a new train stop would be added. 

However, the Scottish government read it differently and said the same 2009 report referred only to a bus interchange which is already there. 

The then council leader, Councillor David Ross, planned to meet transport minister Humza Yousaf to discuss the addition of the facility which, it is estimated, would cost around £7m.

This week, Transport Scotland said they hadn’t committed to such proposals but did not rule out the possibility when asked by the Press.

“We are investing £5 billion in Scotland’s railways to 2019 to ensure that as many people as possible have access to the rail network,” said a Transport Scotland spokesperson. 

“Although a railway station at Halbeath does not feature in our current investment programme, we are committed to ongoing improvements to rail services and connectivity and are willing to consider proposals for new stations where there is clear evidence of benefits, subject to affordability and a suitable business case being identified.”