Rachael Hamilton MSP in an interview on Representing Borders called on the Scottish Government to stop the delays and reopen Reston station.
The campaign to reopen Reston station had looked to be making progress after years of funding issues. The Scottish Government earlier this year increased their funding offer to assist the Scottish Borders and East Lothian Council to meet the project funding gap.
Humza Yousaf MSP wrote to Network Rail confirming the government’s commitment to the delivery of Reston and East Linton stations in CP6 (2019 – 2024).
Further developments saw Transport Scotland assume the client role for the development of Reston and East Linton stations from the Local Authorities.
The Transport Minister also asked Network Rail to continue further development work, as required, to inform the specification of the stations, and that they should be undertaken in the current control period.
However, RAGES, the group campaigning for the reopening of Reston and East Linton station, has questioned why a study, to conclude in 2020, on Capacity Enhancement on East Coast Mainline (ECML) is necessary before both stations can be reopened when former Transport Minister Keith Brown MSP said in a letter to RAGES that trains can be running to East Linton and Reston by December 2016.
Rachael Hamilton MSP raised this discrepancy on Representing Borders, as well talking positively on the impact Reston station will have and praising the fantastic work that RAGES has done on behalf of local communities in the Scottish Borders that will benefit from the respective stations reopening.
Speaking after the interview Rachael Hamilton MSP for Ettrick, Roxburgh and Berwickshire said:
‘Firstly, let us thank and acknowledge the fantastic work that RAGES has done on behalf of local communities in the Borders. What the group has achieved is tremendous. We are so close to seeing Reston Station reopened as a result of their hard work.
‘But we could be closer if Humza Yousaf concedes that a further study to conclude in 2020 is not necessary. Keith Brown MSP, when he was Transport Minister, said trains can be running to Reston and East Linton by 2016 – so why the change of heart now?
‘I will be asking the current Transport Minister, Humza Yousaf MSP, that very question. And I look forward to his reply.
‘Reston station has the potential to transform the Borders and currently it seems that bureaucracy is further delaying the reopening of this vital station. It is time the Scottish Government, Transport Scotland and Network Rail pulled their heads together and reopened this station.’