For the first time in more than half a century, a train station is set to open in the Scottish Borders village of Reston.
The Scottish Borders Council’s planning committee has accepted proposals for the station.
The plans include two new 270m long, 4m wide station platforms, waiting shelters, seating and ticket machines. The embankment would be widened to accommodate the platforms.
A new footbridge is also included that will cross the railway, incorporating lift shafts and stairs on either side. The north lift shaft would reach a height of around 17m and would serve three levels, the interchange, the north platform and the bridge crossing.
The planning application was submitted back in December 2020 following extensive engagement with the community and local campaigners who have pushed for the return of the station for more than two decades.
It is hoped that the construction of the new Reston station will help revitalise the rural communities of Berwickshire and further afield and will enhance and open-up transport links and improve connectivity.
Michael Matheson, Cabinet Secretary for Transport, Infrastructure and Connectivity said: “I welcome this announcement which is another significant step towards delivery of this important new station and will bring new travel opportunities to Reston and surrounding Borders area.
“The Scottish Government has committed funding for this scheme which will have real potential to deliver several benefits for the local communities and also help towards our green recovery from the Covid-19 pandemic.”
Claire Bhugowandeen, Network Rail’s sponsor for the Reston station project said: "We are pleased Scottish Borders Council has advised that this project can progress. It is an exciting development that has the potential to transform the local community it will serve.
“Now that we have clarity on the planning decision, we can now move to get onsite as quickly as possible and work with our partners to deliver this new station for our customers and the wider Reston community."
Councillor Gordon Edgar, Scottish Borders Council’s Executive Member for Infrastructure, Transport and Travel, said: “The approval of the Reston Station planning application is a vital step towards the reopening of this station and I look forward to seeing the works progress rapidly.
“The Council has provided over £2.3m towards the cost of this project, which will deliver significant benefits to the Berwickshire community, providing easy local access to the east coast mainline services which will, in turn, make this area more attractive for inward investment and housing growth, which will both support local communities and the economy.”
Images: Network Rail