Berwick councillors join RAGES campaign

Berwick's three county councillors have officially become members of the Rail Action Group East of Scotland (RAGES) campaign group.

Thursday, 27th September 2018, 15:00 pm
Updated Tuesday, 25th September 2018, 15:26 pm
Coun Catherine Seymour, John Lamont MP, Coun Gregah Roughead and Coun Georgina Hill at the Rail Action Group East of Scotland (RAGES) AGM.

Councillors Georgina Hill, Gregah Roughead and Catherine Seymour attended the group’s annual general meeting at Reston Village Hall last Wednesday.

RAGES campaign aims include; to improve the rail service between Edinburgh, Dunbar and Berwick and to have East Linton and Reston stations re-opened for active use.

The Scottish Government has said that they intend to reopen the East Linton and Reston stations as early as practicable in Control Period 6 (2019-2024) and RAGES are pushing for a firm commitment and at the earliest point during this five-year period.

Speaking at the meeting, Coun Hill, member for Berwick East, said the Berwick county councillors are fully behind the campaign, especially as the local service between Edinburgh to Berwick would pave the way for later trains back to Berwick which would have significant benefits for the town.

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Rail connectivity is a key strategic aim of the Berwick Regeneration Commission, which is made up of the three Northumberland county councillors for Berwick, the county council cabinet member for regeneration and three Berwick town councillors.

Last January, the Berwick Regeneration Commission hosted a well-attended rail connectivity meeting in Berwick which included representatives from RAGES, SENRUG (the South East Northumberland Rail User Group), Network Rail and Scottish Borders Council.

The three county councillors have also been lobbying for rail connectivity for Berwick to be recognised and supported through the Borderlands Growth Deal.

Following this, in addition to the detailed Borderlands documentation that will be submitted to Government includes the reference; ‘Berwick Station provides a key gateway to the Borderlands from the East Coast Main Line and the Borderlands want to discuss improvements to Berwick as part of any future competition to let a new franchise run services on the East Coast Main Line’.