A CALL to get the re-opening of the Alloa to Dunfermline railway back on track as a priority has been made.

The Scottish Greens want “urgent action” after the project was left out of a recent list of Scottish Government transport proposals.

Fife MSP Mark Ruskell said there was no reference to the line in the phase one recommendations of the Strategic Transport Projects Review and is calling for the plans to be included in the next phase of recommendations due to be published in the autumn.

“We are facing a climate emergency and we need to explore all options to get people out of private cars and onto low-carbon public transport,” he said.

“It’s ridiculous that a journey between Alloa and Dunfermline by train currently takes more than two hours despite the fact they’re only 14 miles apart, especially since a disused stretch of track already connects them.

“The line would also allow onward journeys to places like Stirling, Glasgow and Edinburgh, creating transformational opportunities for the whole region by making work, education and leisure more accessible.

“Rail will play an integral part in our response to the climate emergency and is central to the future of public transport. But there’s no reason to delay, this line can and should be re-opened as soon as possible, and must be a top priority when the phase two report is published in the autumn.”

A Transport Scotland spokesperson said the reintroduction of the Dunfermline to Alloa route was still under consideration.

“The publication of the budget, Infrastructure Investment Plan and STPR2 Phase 1 offers an opportunity to provide the strategic context of the next five years of rail investment,” explained the spokesperson.

“Further projects are being considered in the next phase of STPR2, due to report in the autumn, and this includes the Dunfermline – Alloa route.

“At this time, COVID-19 is creating significant uncertainty on future transport trends and people’s behaviours, and work and lifestyle choices. Therefore, it is appropriate that we have prioritised those projects with the most immediate benefits.

“Further proposals for any project being progressed will need to meet our ambitious decarbonisation and modal shift targets, once we better understand the impacts of COVID-19 on work patterns and public transport use.”