Help us raise £25,000 for expert report

Campaigners seeking to reopen Beattock Station have launched a £25,000 appeal to fund a crucial feasibility study.

Beattock Station Action Group is calling on the communities of Beattock, Moffat and the surrounding areas to donate towards this expert report, which will be carried out by an industry specialist.

The Scottish Government has set aside money for the rebuilding of stations such as Beattock, if communities can prove the need.

Group Chairman Martin Brown said: “We’re asking businesses and residents to contribute towards the expert report because this is the only way that the Scottish Government will fund the reopening of the station. This was confirmed by Transport Minister Keith Brown when he visited us last month.

“A station at Beattock would give a massive boost to the local economy and stimulate regeneration. It would transform residents’ work opportunities, with a daily commute to Edinburgh or Glasgow taking only 45 minutes, and make it much easier for people to use the train for shopping or leisure.

“Better access to the rail network would also improve the environment for everyone by reducing the number of car journeys.

“We’re very encouraged that we’ve already received three-figure donations from a number of local businesses. We hope everyone will get behind the campaign – it’s your station and your future.”

Moffat and Beattock are the focal point for travel, tourism and other businesses in central southern Scotland.

Situated on the West Coast Main Line, Beattock is an important transport hub, in a key location for travel, tourism and other businesses in central southern Scotland. The M74 motorway from Glasgow to the English border at Gretna runs near the line and the Southern Upland Way, Scotland’s famous 212-mile coast-to-coast walk, passes through Beattock, which is also on the National Cycle Network.

However, no train has stopped at Beattock, immortalised in WH Auden’s poem The Night Mail, for 42 years. The 48-mile stretch of railway track from Lockerbie to Carstairs is the longest in Britain with no station.

Beattock is now ideally placed to become a park and ride, or Parkway, station. The local community owns land next to the station that could be used for off-street parking. This makes Beattock an excellent option for people from the Dumfries area travelling northwards.

Campaigners for the reopening of Beattock Station welcome railway franchise decision

The group campaigning for the reopening of Beattock Station has welcomed the announcement by the Scottish Transport Minister, Keith Brown, that the franchise to run Scotland’s railways for the next ten years will be awarded to Abellio. The Minister visited Beattock only two weeks ago, just prior to making his decision.

Abellio is a company backed by the Dutch State Railways, who have a commitment to community rail partnerships and integrated public transport across Europe. It was the first of the Scotrail franchise bidders to meet with the Beattock campaign group. Very early in the bidding process, Abellio sent a high-level delegation to meet at Beattock to listen to the group’s reasons for re-opening Beattock Station, which has  been closed since 1972.

Chairman of the Beattock Station Action Group, Martin Brown,  said “We are delighted to hear that Abellio has won the franchise to operate Scotland’s railways. All the bidders accepted our invitation to meet us but Abellio was by far the most enthusiastic in supporting our campaign and agreed to work with us should they be the preferred bidder.

“Whilst there can be no guarantees that Abellio Scotrail will run a service from Beattock in the short term, its track record in supporting rural public transport initiatives across Europe has given a major boost to our campaign. We look forward to working with the company.

“Once Beattock Station is reopened, then the local population will have the opportunity to commute to jobs in Glasgow or Edinburgh in just 45 minutes and tourists will be able to flock to this historic part of Scotland.”

Visit www.beattock.com also on facebook

Martin Brown Chairman 01683 300451

Transport Minister visits Beattock Station

The campaign to reopen Beattock Station has been boosted by a visit from Transport Minister Keith Brown.

The Minister visited the site on Wednesday 24 September, accompanied by representatives from SWestrans and Transport Scotland, to hear for himself why Beattock Station Action Group believes reopening the station is essential for the local community and the surrounding area.

Group Chairman Martin Brown said: “Moffat and Beattock are the hub of activity for travel, tourism and economic activity in central southern Scotland. The only thing we don’t have is a train that stops.

Reopening Beattock Station would greatly enhance rural regeneration, tourism, commerce and accessibility to the UK’s rail network.

We presented our business case to the Minister and outlined what we’ve done so far. He was very keen to hear why this means so much to the community and he was interested in exploring four potential routes, including Liverpool to Glasgow or Liverpool to Edinburgh.”

In response, Transport Minister Keith Brown said: “I was very impressed by the enthusiasm and organisation shown by Beattock Station Action Group.

The next step is for Dumfries & Galloway Council to carry out a Scottish Transport Appraisal Guidance report to assess the feasibility of reopening the station.”

In the same week, Beattock Station Action Group also met a senior manager from First Transpennine Express as part of its campaign strategy. It was an extremely positive meeting, resulting in a number of constructive ideas to help the campaign.

Harry Thomson, Head of Integrated Transport and Commissioning at Dumfries & Galloway Council and Lead Officer for the region’s transport partnership, SWestrans, said: “The reopening of Beattock Station remains an aspiration within the Regional Transport Strategy for the county.

SWestrans and Dumfries & Galloway Council have included Beattock Station as one of the potential projects for bid development for grant funding under the Scottish Stations Fund.”

To see the BBC coverage of Keith Brown’s visit, please click here

ENDS

About Beattock Station Action Group

We believe reopening Beattock Station will bring the following benefits:

  • Give the local community better work opportunities by enabling people to commute

  • Increase tourism and benefit local businesses by making it easier for people to visit the area

  • Enhance people’s quality of life by making it easier for them to travel outside the area for employment, shopping and leisure activities

  • Improve the environment by reducing people’s dependence on the car

To find out more about our work and how your donations will help reopen the station, please visit www.beattock.com or www.facebook.com/BeattockStationActionGroup and like our page.