A LACK of Scottish Government plans to extend the rail network from Alloa toward Dunfermline was slammed by the Greens last week.

A raft of funding plans were announced as part of the programme for government last week, including steps to tackle climate change, to improve bus infrastructure and to decarbonise Scotland's railways by 2035.

The proposal to bring back the Alloa-Dunfermline line for passengers has not yet been dropped, and the matter is subject of exploratory studies.

However, Green MSP Mark Ruskell said that with the announcement to re-open the Levenmouth railway line, an opportunity was missed when the commitment was not extended to an Alloa to Dunfermline line.

Along with the Advertiser, he has been for some time pushing for the line to be opened up to passenger services again and said only his party is ready to deliver a green economy.

MSP Ruskell explained that while it was "heartening" to see Green Party language adopted, the plans "will be of little comfort to communities in Clackmannanshire who are still waiting for their share of new industry and investment".

He added: "Following the recent announcement to reopen the Levenmouth line, it's a significant missed opportunity to not extend this commitment to re-open the rail line from Alloa all the way to Dunfermline.

"The government have committed £6billion to just two road projects [dualling the A9 and the A96] – that money could buy 86 new rail projects like Levenmouth, take thousands of freight lorries off our roads each year and open up Clackmannanshire to more low-carbon investment and jobs."

There is currently a funding bid in with the Scottish Government's Local Rail Development Fund for feasibility studies for the line.

After the programme for government was announced, the SNP's Keith Brown pointed the environment centre, funded through the Stirling and Clackmannanshire City Region Deal, as will help put the Wee County "on the map" as a green leader.

MSP Brown said: "The programme for government rightly puts tackling the global climate emergency front and centre of the Scottish Government's focus.

"This is a fantastic opportunity for Scotland's International Environment Centre, located between Clackmannanshire and the University of Stirling, to be at the forefront in building a transformative plan to tackle the climate crisis and build a system of inclusive green economic growth.

"With funding opportunities offered by the programme for government, the centre will only grow in importance, putting Clackmannanshire on the map as Scotland's green leader.

"Clackmannanshire is particularly well placed to facilitate this, with already four times the national average number of jobs in the environmental sector and further investment will provide welcome local opportunities for highly skilled jobs."