Momentum is building for the re-opening of Reston Station and the possibility of securing European money is now being looked at.
At last week’s Scottish Borders Council meeting £3000,000 was set aside in the next financial year’s capital budget towards the station and councillors were told that they may well need to allocate further cash for the project.
Councillor Stuart Bell, executive member for economic development, said that the final capital budget had reflected recent developments, including the latest positive appraisal on the re-opening of Reston Station, and that European funding could be secured for the project.
Councillor Joan Campbell responded: “I really welcome the inclusion of Reston Station in the capital budget.
“If successfully opened it will have a huge impact on the surrounding area, including Eyemouth and Ayton, and into mid-Berwickshire.
“RAGES has fought for many years for it to come to this point, and I’m sure they will welcome its inclusion in the capital budget, and that the money may be increased if necessary.”
In October 2002, RAGES (Rail Action Group East Scotland)handed over a petition of 1862 signatures to the Scottish Parliament calling for the introduction of a local rail service between Edinburgh and Berwick including the re-opening of Reston Station and East Linton Station in East Lothian. The response was “a bit disappointing”, but undeterred RAGES continued putting pressure on the Scottish Government, Scottish Borders Council and East Lothian Council to support the project.
There is a far more positive attitude now to the possibility of a local rail service between Edinburgh and Berwick, following various studies into the costs involved and the projected passenger numbers - there would be estimated costs for re-opening Reston (£3.2 Million) and East Linton (£3.9 million) plus operating costs in the region of £68 million.
Last year Transport Scotland announced that the new ScotRail franchise, due to start in 2015, would need to include the operating costs of running an Edinburgh to Berwick local service. The most recent report on a local train service on the East Coast line, published in December 2013, concluded that there was an economic and social case for it.