Proposals to open a new rail station at East Linton have taken a step forward.
Scottish Borders and East Lothian councils, along with SEStran, the regional transport partnership, have submitted a joint bid to the Scottish Government’s Rail Station Fund as part of plans to provide new stations at East Linton and Reston in Berwickshire.
The news follows an announcement by Transport Scotland last November that the five companies bidding for the new ScotRail franchise would need to consider these new stations as part of its submission.
The case for a local rail service between Edinburgh and Berwick-upon-Tweed was also supported by a paper presented to the Scottish Government’s transport minister, Keith Brown MSP, in December 2013.
Councillor Michael Veitch, East Lothian Council’s transport spokesman, said: “I am delighted that after many years of hard work, the campaign to re-open a station at East Linton has cleared another hurdle.
“East Lothian Council has progressed this objective in terms of chairing the local rail steering group, part-commissioning the report making the case for a local rail service between Edinburgh and Berwick and financing a bid to the Rail Station Fund.
“I very much hope that the Scottish Government throws it full weight behind the bid and get this long-awaited project signed off.”
Midlothian councillor Russell Imrie, who chairs SEStran, said: “SEStran fully supports the campaign to improve services on the Berwick-upon-Tweed line to Edinburgh and to extend access to rail in East Lothian, by opening stations at Reston and East Linton.
“It would open up access to rail travel for thousands of commuters in East Lothian and the Borders and offer major benefits for the local economies and tourism.
“It would also make a major contribution towards cutting congestion on the regions roads and reducing the carbon footprint by providing a viable alternative to travelling by car.”
A response from the Scottish Government is expected to be received towards the end of the year and the new ScotRail franchise is due to commence in April 2015.