Campaigners for improved rail services, including new stations, have joined politicians in welcoming increased financial commitment from the two local councils.
Scottish Borders Council announced last week they would contribute £1.28 million towards the re-opening of Reston Station; East Lothian Council have agreed to increase their £200,000 a year for the next three years, the amount dependent on the success of the joint bid to the Scottish Government’s £30 million station refurbishment fund.
Speaking on behalf of Rail Action Group, East of Scotland, Russell Darling said: “This commitment of funding is welcomed by RAGES and we hope that soon after the successful bidder for the new ScotRail franchise is announced in September, the Minister for Transport will give his approval for the local service and re-opened stations to proceed,”
Local Borders MSP John Lamont has welcomed Scottish Borders Council’s increased financial commitment to the re-opening of Reston Station which comes after years of lobbying to improve local rail links in Berwickshire.
Mr Lamont said: “The campaign for restoring local train services to Berwickshire has been gathering more and more momentum over the past few years, and this is yet more support for this important project.
“Re-opening Reston station would provide a huge boost to the local economy, and provide rail services to around 10,000 people in the local area, so there is no doubt that it needs to go ahead.
Scottish Liberal Democrat South Scotland MSP Jim Hume said: “With the prospect of Reston now finally being considered as part of the new east coast rail franchise, we’re almost within touching distance of seeing trains in Berwickshire. Improving transport links is a must for the Borders.”