South of Scotland MSP, Colin Smyth is urging members of the South West of Scotland Transport Partnership (SWESTRANS) to progress the case for the reopening of Eastrriggs, Thornhill and Beattock railway stations to the next stage.
The transport agency meets this Friday where members will receive details of the outcomes of the Scottish Transport Appraisal Guidance (STAG) Part 1 work into the possible re-opening of the stations.
Members will be asked to consider moving to the next stage, a STAG Part 2 which if successful would pave the way for the development of full business cases for the re-opening of stations.
Colin Smyth, who also Chairs the Eastriggs Railway Station Action Group, said:
“The initial appraisals for Eastriggs, Thornhill and Beattock have been very positive and show a clear case for the re-opening of the railway stations in the region.
If we are going to re-generate the economy of Dumfries and Galloway, we need to improve our transport links and re-opening railway stations is a key part of making the area more accessible, as well as improving opportunities for people to access employment.
There is no doubt that the biggest barrier will be cost. But the Government has a Station Fund of £30m we could bid for, and with the pressure on both the UK and Scottish Government to fund the Borderlands Initiative being developed by the local councils, I’m confident we could raise the substantial sums needed. This will be a slow process as very few stations are re-opened in Scotland, but we are certainly very much moving in the right direction in more ways than one”.
The papers for the SWESTRANS meeting on Friday 30 June can be viewed here:
Page 105, Item 16 discusses the re-opening of the railway stations