Public demand for Beattock Station identified Around 800 people were involved in filling in a questionnaire, 641 complete responses were received, 135 of them from family groups and 100 from Moffat Academy pupils. All but 2 supported the opening of the station 61% came from the local area and 39% outwith the area. The majority thought they would use the station for leisure, 131 thought they might commute to and from the station and 82 for business reasons.
The most remarkable aspect of the public responses is the very wide range of benefits to individual, the wider community and businesses of having a station, more local than Lockerbie. Over 50 different ideas were suggested, including the obvious aspects, such as access to cities, the rail network and a strong wish to leave the car at home. There were many benefits to people with individual circumstances, such as better comfort and access for disabled travellers and more taxi business. The business case and general economic benefit for a station comes through very strongly, increase in tourism, more jobs locally and away and more housing development. Most thought a bus link to Moffat would be essential. In spite of the current rail ticket prices, local train travel was seen to be cheaper, saving time and a more relaxed, safer way to commute.
The young people from Moffat Academy were very interested in having a station closer to home which would give them greater independence with opportunities to attend college via the railway. They liked the idea of developing Beattock and local shops and hospitality. Some were willing to walk from Moffat to Beattock Station. It was clear that young people are not regular rail users because of being dependent on parents or buses.
Other Station campaigns have found that the predicted frequency of use is often much greater once the station opens, as in the case of commuting from Larkhall to Glasgow. The report will be publicly available shortly and the next stages for the BSAG is fund raising, negotiating with possible service providers and working with the Scottish Parliament and D&G Council via SWestrans.
The Old Stables Inn in Beattock have agreed to dedicate their Restaurant area as a “Beattock Station Waiting Room” where events, meetings and information will be held.
Peter Dreghorn, Ron McLean and Peter Gray, were major contributors to the design, distribution and collation of the questionnaire, with help and support from other BSAG members.
Our recent Quiz Night was attended by over 40 people, had a great ‘buzz’ and, thanks to those who attended, helped us to raise almost £250.
Martin Brown ‘Chairman’: Website: www.beattock.com