Transport Scotland increases East Linton and Reston funding offer

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Facing increasing criticism from local authorities, the Scottish government has offered an increased funding package for the proposed railway stations at East Linton and Reston.

The offer made will increase the proposed Scottish Government contribution to 60%; this is unprecedented in terms of the Scottish Stations Fund and has never been made in any previous station.

The second option would see the stations’ construction form part of a programme of works within the next Network Rail delivery period, which broadly aims to improve capacity to the east of Edinburgh. In this second option, the councils are not being required to increase the level of funding above that which they have stated is their limit.

Humza Yousaf, Minister for Transport and the Islands said

“The Scottish Government has been a strong supporter of the delivery of Reston and East Linton stations and is keen to work with local authorities to deliver rail infrastructure to meet the needs of their local communities.

“Currently, we fund new stations via the Scottish Stations Fund with central government funding limited to 50%; the balance being matched by contributions from promoters, whether local authorities or private developers.

“Recognising the budgetary pressures facing all parties concerned, I have written to both local authorities outlining my two potential solutions to the current funding shortfall.

“My first option seeks to address the shortfall by increasing the central government contribution to an unprecedented 60%, the second by incorporating the stations within a larger programme of works.

“The second option would see the stations’ construction form part of a programme of works within the next Network Rail delivery period, which broadly aims to improve capacity to the east of Edinburgh. In this second option, the councils are not being required to increase the level of funding above that which they have stated is their limit.

“In both instances, I would also be seeking a long term commitment from each council in respect of improved connectivity. For example, by ensuring appropriate bus services to the station from outlying communities and the provision of suitable interchange facilities to maximise the wider economic and social value of the stations.

“I am pleased to be able to offer these unprecedented solutions to allow the construction of these stations to progress. I’ve advised the councils that I’m happy to accept either option. The ball is now in the Councils’ court and I look forward, in due course, to hear how they wish to proceed.”

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