Fears for the future operation of Dunbar station have been expressed by members of Rail Action Group East of Scotland (RAGES).
The next East Coast rail franchise is currently out to tender. The invitation to tender (ITT) has been issued and three bidders have been shortlisted: East Coast Trains Ltd (FirstGroup plc); Keolis/Eurostar East Coast Limited (Keolis (UK) Limited and Eurostar International Limited); and Inter City Railways Limited (Stagecoach Transport Holdings Limited and Virgin Holdings Limited).
Their bids have to be submitted by June 19, 2014, with the successful bidder announced around November 2014.
However, a RAGES spokesman said: “What has come to light, partly due to our neighbours at railfuture northeast, is the following information hidden in appendix A2 of the ITT that the franchise operator will: work with relevant stakeholders in preparing for the transfer of Dunbar station to ScotRail as set out in the Franchise Agreement; enter into 99-year station leases for all stations except York, Newcastle and Dunbar within four months of the franchise start date, in accordance with the requirements of the Franchise Agreement.”
“It makes sense with the re-opened neighbouring stations at East Linton and Reston being run by ScotRail, that Dunbar is also run by them. However, it is hoped that with Dunbar being an important interchange station for East Lothian.
“It is hoped that after the changeover Dunbar station will retain its ticket office and staff and that long distance trains to London will continue to stop and perhaps have additional stops.
“We also hope the addition of a north-bound platform at Dunbar will come to fruition to save trains having to cross over the south-bound line and passengers will see car parking charges abolished.”