Having asked SWestrans in January to upend their priorities for STAG reports that put Beattock 4th out of 4 proposed Station reopening; offering to provide £14000 to supplement funds available for a STAG to be commissioned in 2015; the Swestrans report for their March decision making meeting highlights no change in their priorities and that to complete the first three reports would cost £90k, plus there was no further allocation of funds in 2015/16 and onwards thus Indicating Beattock is a low priority and the opportunity of Scottish Stations Fund (SSF) funding was not an option at this time. It has always been our submission that as we are in Scotland we were entitled to express our view to the SSF however, the issue that Beattock is not on a ScotRail line has meant that we always had a battle to fight.
However the outcome of the meeting was more positive for us as SWestrans would like to work with us to revisit a 2004 report with it’s agenda to address the community rail accessibility from stations between Carlisle to Carstairs Junction (naturally focussing on Beattock) to provide a suitable Appraisal Report and we would continue to raise funds for this report as a priority.
This would still involve us pursuing the agenda with Abellio (ScotRail from 1st April) to bring this section of line into the ScotRail Network; also looking to the new franchise for TPE both of which have remained in our operational focus over this period
The campaign is continuing and we’d urge everyone in the area to continue their support – we need their support to make this happen. We’ve met national politicians and senior rail managers at the highest level to raise awareness of the need for a station at Beattock. For example, earlier this month we attended the Cross Party Rail Group at Holyrood, we met Claire Perry MP, Parliamentary Under Secretary of State at the Department of Transport, and gained support from MP David Mundell, who has recently been very supportive of our campaign. Last week we met with Graham Meiklejohn Communications officer for First Group re the TPE franchise.
Rest assured we’ll continue to lobby for Beattock and remain confident that our station will reopen in due course.