A FRESH call has been made to bring a “much-needed” rail line back to Renfrewshire.

Think tank Railfuture Scotland has developed a map of service improvements across the country, which includes the restoration of a line through Elderslie, Bridge of Weir and Kilmacolm.

The proposals are an update on past attempts to kick-start the debate on the “needs” of Scotland’s rail network to make it “fit for the requirements of the 21st century.”

READ MORE: Bridge of Weir housing plan could halt bid to revive old Renfrewshire train tracks

The last train left Bridge of Weir station in 1983 amid a major restructuring of the railway system but, in the last decade, a number of lines have been brought back to life, including the Airdrie to Bathgate service.

The Gazette:

Councillor Colin McCulloch, who represents Bishopton, Bridge of Weir and Langbank, said the return of the line would be “massive” for the area.

He told The Gazette: “This would not only help to alleviate the problems on the M8 but it would also be key to tackling the climate change emergency we are all aware of.

“The railway would give people in villages such as Bridge of Weir the chance to leave their car at home and get to work by different means.

“In turn, it would bring people from the surrounding villages and towns into Bridge of Weir and we have some brilliant restaurants which would benefit.

The Gazette: Cllr Colin McCulloch has backed the proposals Cllr Colin McCulloch has backed the proposals

“I’d like to see a feasibility study carried out by the likes of the Scottish Government and Renfrewshire Council to establish whether these plans are affordable.”

The think tank has also backed calls to create a Glasgow Airport Rail Link, which has been promised for years, with different proposals approved and later scrapped.

Last month, the principle of a metro link for Glasgow Airport was agreed by council leaders in Glasgow and Renfrewshire.

READ MORE: Excitement grows over plans for Glasgow Airport Metro

The first phase would link Paisley Gilmour Street train station and Glasgow Airport before extending further east.

Funding for the new project has been approved, although it will need to be sanctioned by councillors in both authorities before work can begin.

Jane Ann Liston, Railfuture Scotland secretary, said of the rail map for the future: “It is making up for decades of underinvestment, with successive governments skimping and using the railways as a political football."

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