Letter to Transport Minister challenging response to STAG Report

After the poor response from Transport Scotland in relation to the STAG report, the action group felt that this was not acceptable. We have therefore drafted a letter to both the Transport Minister and Transport Scotland.

Dear Transport Minister

I’m writing on behalf of Beattock Station Action Group concerning the response to the STAG Report, contained in the letter from Transport Scotland dated 09/06/2023 and signed by Nicola Blaney CEng, Interim Head of Strategic Transport Planning.
We would challenge the assertion that
  • there is not sufficiently strong evidence for non-monetised benefits and
  • it does not demonstrate a socio-economic case for the station to be reopened.
We have studied the Report closely and find evidence to the contrary. It contains comprehensive material within it which clearly demonstrates that Peter Brett Associates, who carried out the feasibility study, concluded that the reopening of Beattock Station would meet the three Transport Planning Objectives in their entirety, which are:-
  1.  Enable an effective day trip by public transport to key education, retail and social opportunities in Glasgow, Edinburgh and Carlisle
  2. Provide public transport connectivity which enables travel to and from the area, across the day and across the week
  3. Increase the inbound transport catchment to support local businesses through increased visitors to the area.
WE dispute using Lockerbie as the comparison town with Moffat on the grounds that Moffat is a known tourist destination, whereas Lockerbie is for the most part, not a destination town. For information, the annual visitor population of Moffat alone has been recorded as between 850,000 – 950,000 as a mixture of day trippers and longer staying visitors.

We know that this STAG Report cost a total of £75,000, £14,000 of which was funded by local businesses and residents. We feel that this financial commitment by them should not be ignored or sidelined.

We are keen to continue a dialogue with both Transport Scotland and the Transport Minister, therefore we request a face to face meeting, either in Beattock, or at Holyrood.

Yours sincerely
Ron McLean, Chair,
Beattock Station Action Group