Trans­port chief meets Thorn­hill sta­tion group

Dumfries & Galloway Standard - - INTIMATIONS -

Cam­paign­ers call­ing for the re-open­ing of Thorn­hill train sta­tion met Trans­port Min­is­ter Humza Yousaf on Tues­day.

Me­lanie Allen of the Thorn­hill Sta­tion Ac­tion Group was de­lighted with how the meet­ing at the Scot­tish Par­lia­ment went.

She said:“A cou­ple of Wal­lace Hall Academy pupils and a rep­re­sen­ta­tive from the Halo Trust came with us to tell the min­is­ter about the trans­port is­sues we face in Thorn­hill.

“He com­mended us on our busi­ness case and it was a very en­cour­ag­ing meet­ing.”

The ac­tion group was formed in March in a bid to have the sta­tion brought back into use after 50 years.

In June, mem­bers of the South West of Scot­land Trans­port Part­ner­ship agreed to take the case for the re-open­ing of lo­cal rail sta­tions to the next stage.

Dum­friesshire MSP Oliver Mun­dell, who set up Tues­day’s meet­ing, said:“The min­is­ter was en­thu­si­as­tic about the plans to re-open the sta­tion and gave them as­sur­ances that they are go­ing about build­ing their case in ex­actly the right way.

“I was pleased that he could clearly un­der­stand the case for re-open­ing, in or­der to de­liver an eco­nomic boost for a ru­ral area and I hope that the sup­port can be given to the group as they con­tinue to out­line the clear busi­ness case for the sta­tion.”

SNP MSP Joan McAlpine also at­tended the meet­ing and she said:“I think the Thorn­hill Ac­tion Group have a re­ally strong case to re-open Thorn­hill Sta­tion.

“At over 28 miles long, the Nith Val­ley line be­tween San­quhar and Dum­fries is the long­est stretch on the route without a sta­tion – it is clear to me that the com­mu­ni­ties of the mid Nith Val­ley and Glen­cairn would ben­e­fit con­sid­er­ably from a train sta­tion here.”

South Scot­land Labour MSP Colin Smyth also be­lieves there is a“pow­er­ful eco­nomic and en­vi­ron­men­tal case for the re-open­ing of the sta­tion”.

He said:“Re­cently Sco­trail an­nounced new rail ser­vices on the Nith Val­ley line but th­ese were be­tween Dum­fries and Carlisle. The mid and up­per Niths­dale part of the line was pretty much for­got­ten.

“Re-open­ing Thorn­hill Sta­tion would make the route north of Dum­fries more at­trac­tive for peo­ple com­mut­ing into Dum­fries for em­ploy­ment and ed­u­ca­tion and also pro­vide a gate­way to mid Niths­dale, which could help boost tourism in the area”.

Talks

Mem­bers of the Thorn­hill Sta­tion Ac­tion Group met Trans­port Min­is­ter Humza Yousaf at Holy­rood on Tues­day with MSPs Oliver Mun­dell and Joan McAlpine

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