The communities of Beattock, Moffat and the surrounding areas have taken the crucial first step towards reopening Beattock Station.
Beattock Station Action Group has joined forces with SWestrans, the regional transport partnership covering Dumfries and Galloway, to commission an expert pre-appraisal report into improving transport links in the area.
Following discussions earlier this year, SWestrans advised Beattock Station Action Group that it would seek to facilitate planning for station re-opening over the medium-term, taking account of the potential for development of a new west coast service under HS2.
Group Chairman Martin Brown said: “We’re delighted to be working in partnership with SWestrans to commission this essential report as a vital first step in the evaluation process for the reopening of Beattock Station”.
“This has been made possible by the generosity of local residents and businesses with contributions from Annandale & Nithsdale Community Benefit Co. courtesy of ScottishPower Renewables Harestanes, who have contributed towards the report because this is the only way that the Scottish Government will fund the reopening of the station. The response from our communities has been fantastic and we’d like to thank them for their support.
“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.”
A spokesperson for SWestrans said: “It is important for the ongoing development of the South West’s economy that there are effective public transport links to the Central Belt, and to England. Whilst we acknowledge the constraints on rail services, there are potential opportunities in the medium to long term which need to be comprehensively and objectively evaluated. This is why we are very pleased to work in partnership with Beattock Station Action Group. We share their commitment to improving services and we look forward to seeing the report.”
The report, which will be carried out by transport specialists Peter Brett Associates, will be published early in the New Year.
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 43 years. The 48-mile stretch of railway track from Lockerbie to Carstairs is the longest in Britain with no station.
It is the view of Beattock Station Action Group that Beattock could be 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. The report would be an important step in establishing the feasibility of this.
Martin Brown – Chairman
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
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