Cross-Party efforts reopen Reston and East Linton Stations

The two MPs who represent Reston and East Linton have met with the Secretary of State for Transport in a cross-party bid to reopen the stations on the East Coast Main Line.

John Lamont MP for Berwickshire, Roxburgh and Selkirk and Martin Whitfield MP for East Lothian both spoke with Chris Grayling MP to seek assurances that the new East Coast Main Line contract will not hold up the campaign for reopening stations on the line.

The meeting was arranged after the UK Government announced that rail services on the line would be controlled by the Department for Transport until 2020, following the failure of the Stagecoach and Virgin Trains franchise.

Responding in Parliament to this announcement, John Lamont MP urged the Transport Secretary to consider how bringing the service into public control might affect the reopening of both stations.

The news comes as the Scottish Government has been promising that Reston and East Linton stations would reopen for several years. In 2014, the then Transport Secretary, Keith Brown MSP said he hoped trains would be stopping at the stations by the end of 2016. Despite both East Lothian and Scottish Borders Council having set aside their financial contribution, the Scottish Government has yet to confirm a date for the stations to reopen.

In October 2017, the UK Government announced it was to invest £3.6 billion in Scotland’s railways over 5 years – an increase of £600m on the previous period.

Speaking after the meeting, John Lamont MP, said: “Following the creation of LNER, I wanted to make sure that the Department for Transport understood the importance of reopening Reston Station.

“I was pleased that nothing has changed and the UK Government remains committed to facilitating this much needed addition to the East Coast Main Line. Following out meeting, the Secretary of State for Scotland will also be ensuring that Network Rail understands the importance of these projects.

“It is time the Scottish Government got on with the job. They have the money to do it, they have the support of the UK Government and the franchise owner - I’m not sure what is stopping them.”