Consultant will scrutinise environmental performance on rail link in central Scotland

Consultant WSP has won a contract from Network Rail to work on a £300m rail link in central Scotland.

The firm said it had been appointed independent planning monitoring officer – an auditing role in which it will scrutinise environmental performance – on the construction of a connection between Airdrie and Bathgate.

The scheme will revive the historic route, which closed 50 years ago, as well as upgrading existing links between Bathgate and Edinburgh and Airdrie and Drumgelloch.

Andrew Mitchell, senior consultant at WSP Environment & Energy, said: “This is the first time that such a role has been undertaken in Scotland, and so represents a groundbreaking opportunity for WSP.

“We look forward to working with Network Rail and the appointed contractor to ensure that this development is implemented to the highest environmental standards.”

Ron McAulay, Network Rail director for Scotland, added: “This is a huge project and it presents us with some real environmental challenges whether they are related to minimising the effects of construction traffic, protecting wildlife along the route or designing out the noise and vibration from the new line.”

Construction is due to start early next year and complete by the end of 2010. A contractor is yet to be appointed.