The Scottish Government has offered more funding to enable the construction of the proposed East Linton and Reston train stations to go ahead.
It has upped its offer to fund 50% of the developments to 60% – a figure it says is unprecedented for the Scottish Stations Fund, having never been offered to any previous project.
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. It also means the councils involved are not 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 East Linton and Reston 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.”