Push for more services to serve new stations

Parliamentarians met with TransPennine Express (TPE) to discuss future rail services at the planned Reston and East Linton stations together with existing services to Dunbar.

Friday, 9th July 2021, 12:54 pm
Updated Friday, 9th July 2021, 12:54 pm
The meeting with TransPennine Express took place virtually

Borders MP John Lamont South Scotland list MSP Craig Hoy and Connor Ovenstone from Ettrick, Roxburgh and Berwickshire MSP Rachael Hamilton’s office held a virtual meeting with TPE regional development manager Graham Meiklejohn.

Having been involved in the campaign to re-open Reston for over 15 years, Mr Lamont wants to see the number of services maximised when the station opens, whilst simultaneously maintaining the fast services north and south from Berwick-upon-Tweed.

Politicians on both sides of the border have expressed concerns the expected number of daily services looks to be much lower than anticipated.

A draft east coast main line timetable for May 2022 which was published last month revealed it will include just one LNER and three CrossCountry services a day calling at Reston in each direction.

It stated the CrossCountry stops would be provided by switching them from Dunbar, while a fifth daily service would be provided at Reston if possible.

The document added there were also discussions about TPE operating a service between Newcastle or Berwick and Edinburgh that would stop at Reston, replacing the proposed CrossCountry services.

Mr Lamont is set to meet LNER in the coming months and has written to the Department for Transport’s Rail Minister, Chris Heaton-Harris MP, to request a meeting to discuss this further.

He said: “The opportunities the re-opening of Reston station will bring to Berwickshire, the Borders and beyond are very exciting. I want to see these maximised.

“It is really important we see regular services at Reston to increase connectivity, whilst maintaining the vital quick trains from Berwick-upon-Tweed.

“I have been involved in the campaign to re-open Reston Station for many years and it is crucial that we get this right. That’s why I will be holding discussions with LNER in the coming weeks and seeking to raise my concerns directly with the UK Government’s Rail Minister.”