Trains to return to Reston following planning consent for station development

Scottish Borders Council’s planning committee has approved proposals which will see a station open in the Borders village of Reston for the first time in more than half a century.

The plans for Reston will see the construction of a two-platform station on the East Coast mainline, with 70 car parking spaces and a new access road to the station. The station itself will be fully accessible with lifts and a footbridge connecting both platforms.

The planning application was submitted back in December 2020 following extensive engagement with the community – necessarily online due to COVID-19 restrictions – 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 a number of benefits for the local communities and also help towards our green recovery from the Covid-19 pandemic.”

The plans for the new station at Reston propose:

  • Two new 270m long, 4m wide station platforms and associated furniture (waiting shelters, seating and ticket machines) and 1.5m steel fence to rear of both platforms. The embankment would be widened to accommodate the platforms;
  • A new footbridge 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 (ground level), the north platform, and the bridge crossing.

The southern shaft would sit raised off the embankment serving the southern platform and bridge crossing only, with an overall height of around 13m. The crossing would sit at least 6.2m above the height of the railway, and around 13.5m above the level of the car park;

  • Escape stairs and footpaths on either end of the platforms, on both sides;
  • Lighting columns throughout the site and associated infrastructure/ equipment including CCTV
  • At Reston Main Street, a new mini roundabout would be created close to the existing junction with the Orchard, which would be closed to vehicles.
  • From the new mini roundabout, a new road and footway/ cycle path would be created parallel with The Orchard to serve both the new station and the Orchard.
  • Towards the railway embankment, a new transport interchange would be created. A one way loop road would serve a car park, bus stop with shelter and a drop-off space. The car park would provide an initial 70 spaces including blue badge priority parking and electric vehicle charging.

The application allows for a 40 space extension. Land to the north is included within the proposed site to safeguard further land for potential later expansion of the car park. Cycle storage facilities will also be provided.

Reston Station will represent an investment of circa £20m. Network Rail is currently awaiting a final construction programme for the project and will announce an intended completion date for the project as soon as possible

Transport Scotland is working with the industry to discuss and agree a service/stopping pattern at the station. This will be confirmed later in the year.

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.”

A station opened in the village of Reston in 1846 but the last passenger services stopped in 1964.  

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