Could work blight Linlithgow’s chance to bloom?

Concerned members of the Linithgow community who are unhappy that the work in Station Road has still to be completed. Pic: Michael Gillen
Concerned members of the Linithgow community who are unhappy that the work in Station Road has still to be completed. Pic: Michael Gillen

Community groups are concerned failure to complete work in Station Road could harm Linlithgow’s Beautiful Scotland entry.

They claim the upgrading between the train station entrance and the road up to the canal basin has been “abandoned” for the past month because of an impasse between Network Rail and West Lothian Council, but the local authority denies this.

Group members fear it will leave the wrong impression with tourists coming to the town and judges from Beautiful Scotland who arrive in July.

Ron Smith, who is on Linlithgow and Linlithgow Bridge Community Council and Linlithgow Civic Trust said: “What worries the various groups is the time that it has taken to finish the work.

“It looks like there has been some kind of hiccup which has stopped the work.

“We are worried that this could be interminable and last for a long time. We’re putting in for Beautiful Scotland and the judges are coming in July.

“We wouldn’t like the town to look like this when they come plus we are thinking about all the visitors coming to the town and this will be their first impression up to the canal basin.”

A spokesperson for the council said: “The lack of progress at the platform works is not the result of a dispute between Network Rail and the council. Network Rail are working to their programme and works will be completed in due course.”

Groups were also concerned over the ‘heritage’ lighting on the route up to the canal basin which they say has been left unfinished since last summer, but the council spokesperson said all work is scheduled to completed by the end of this month.

An assurance has also been given that the lampposts at the Vennel and Water Yett will be properly painted black in response to the wishes of the community gardeners in these areas.

However, this week Mr Smith was told that the heritage lampposts put up by Network Rail last week below the extended platform are the wrong specification and don’t match those further up the hill.

He added: “As these will have to be replaced, the council can’t give a completion date for the lighting works and I assume therefore that there is no end in sight to the unsightly conditions we witnessed last week.”