The campaign to re-open Beattock Railway Station is entering a ‘crucial’ stage, according to South Scotland MSP Colin Smyth.
The local MSP spoke at the information meeting last week (21 June) organised by the Beattock Railway Station Action Group to hear more about the work being done to keep the campaign going.
Colin Smyth said: “It is so encouraging to see the renewed determination from the Action Group to fight for the re-opening of Beattock station.
“The recent sad passing of long-standing Chair Martin Brown was a real loss to the group but they are determined to keep working towards the station re-opening in Martin’s memory.
“We are entering a really crucial period for the campaign. The Scottish Government is due to publish the Scottish Transport Projects Review 2 in the autumn and this could be make or break for the campaign as it will list the key transport projects the Scottish Government could fund over the next twenty years.
“The group are hopeful Beattock will be one of those projects but there is no doubt that there are big challenges to secure the re-opening.
“The decision by the UK Government not to build a new track for High Speed Rail 2 and simply to use the current West Coast Rail line is a bitter blow to the campaign.
“Had they proposed building a new line then that would have freed up space on the west coast like for the introduction of more local rail services linking our area to Glasgow and Edinburgh as well as to Carlisle.
“We also don’t know how far passenger numbers will recover on our railways after the pandemic.
“However, if both the UK and Scottish Governments are serious about tackling the climate emergency then they need to start to invest and awful lot more on our railways and that means opening up stations.”