Local rail development fund

A new Local Rail Development Fund was announced on 22 February 2018.

This £2 million Scottish Government fund, which will be available from April 2018, will provide funding to develop community led options to improve local rail connections.

Glasgow Queen Street StationInvestment in our railways to connect communities remains a priority for the Scottish Government. This new fund will enable local communities to appraise and potentially bring forward proposals aimed at tackling very specific, local rail connectivity issues.

Investing in this appraisal work will allow us to consider these local priorities when planning future investment in our railways.

Applying for this fund

Any stakeholder organisation with a responsibility or interest in local transport issues, such as local authorities, Regional Transport Partnerships and local interest groups can apply for this fund. The application can be for a new project or to assist with appraisal work already under development.

Organisations who want to apply to this fund should complete the application form below and return it to rail.infrastructure.strategy@transport.gov.scot by 8 June 2018.

Successful applicants will be offered a Scottish Government grant to carry out the transport appraisal. The grant letter will include the conditions of the award and the timescales for completion. Payment can only be made once the recipient has accepted the conditions and signed the grant letter.


The Scottish Government’s Rail Enhancement and Capital Investment Strategy

The Rail Enhancements and Capital Investment Strategy outlines the new ‘pipeline’ approach to planning and funding rail projects. Successful applications to the Local Rail Development Fund will follow the process outlined in the diagram on page 9 of the Investment strategy.

Scottish Transport Appraisal Guidance

In any case where it is likely that Government funding, support or approval will be sought for any further development, promoters must confirm that they will complete a transport appraisal in line with Scottish Transport Appraisal Guidance (STAG).

STAG comprises four sequential phases and is applied proportionally and comprehensively with the level of detail determined by the extent of the study area, the nature and scale of transport problems, potential transport options and the impact of options in the study area.

The process is impartial and objective-led rather than being solution-led which means that STAG provides a robust and consistent evidence base for decision-makers. The four sequential stages are:

  • Initial Appraisal: Case for Change
  • Preliminary Options Appraisal
  • Detailed Options Appraisal (including proposals for monitoring and evaluation)
  • Post Appraisal

At each stage of this process there will be a decision point (with the exception of post appraisal) to consider whether there is sufficient evidence to proceed with the appraisal. Accordingly, funding from the Local Rail Development Fund will be provided in stages and it will only be possible to proceed to the next stage of appraisal when it can be demonstrated that there is sufficient justification to progress and commit further resources to the Preliminary Options Appraisal and Detailed Options Appraisal stages.

Transport Scotland’s Strategic Transport Planning team can provide advice on the application of STAG and Transport Scotland’s published business case guidance.