Reston Station is back on track
The re-opening of Reston Station is close to becoming a reality after the Scottish Government and Scottish Borders Council agreed to increase their contribution.
A 17-year campaign to get both Reston and East Linton stations re-opened and a local rail service between Edinburgh and Berwick looks to be on the home straight and trains could be running by 2018.
Initial costs for the work required to open stations at Reston and East Linton were estimated at around £7.5million and in 2014 SBC and East Lothian Council made a joint proposal to contribute £3.1million towards it.
Preliminary design work by Network Rail, however, put the costs at £21.7million and the Scottish Government has increased its financial contribution to 50 per cent of the estimated cost of each station.
Following a recent meeting between the two councils and SEStran (South East Scotland Transport Network), East Lothian Council has confirmed it will raise its contribution towards East Linton from £1.5million to £3.44million and Scottish Borders Council will up its contribution for Reston Station from £1.28million to £2.84million.
East Lothian and Scottish Borders Councils and SEStran have written to the Minister for Transport, Humza Yousaf, with a proposal that would see the Scottish Government take responsibility for the construction of the stations, including the risk element of Network Rail’s costings and the councils would raise their respective contributions of £3.44million for East Linton and £2.84million for Reston to cover the total construction costs less the Government’s offer of 50 per cent and the risk elements.
Should the offers be accepted by the Scottish Government, both councils and SEStran will submit a fresh bid to the Scottish Stations Fund to close the funding gap to allow the project to go ahead.
Train operators bidding to take over the next Scotrail franchise in 2015 were told to include the option of services using Reston and East Linton in their bids.
Cllr Gordon Edgar, SBC’s executive member for roads and infrastructure, said: “I am pleased that the council has been able to increase its offer to the Scottish Government towards the delivery of Reston Station, and we continue to work closely with partners to ensure this becomes a reality as soon as possible.”
Cllr Michael Veitch, of East Lothian Council, said: “A local rail service covering Reston and East Linton and linking these two communities to Berwick-upon-Tweed and Edinburgh could be of huge benefit to the local economy.”