Local Groups in Station Adoption Drive
Local groups are flocking to 'adopt' stations in a drive to help make Midlothian and Borders railway platforms and surroundings more welcoming and people-friendly.
'Travellers will soon see the fruit of plans to improve the appearance of Eskbank, Gorebridge, Newtongrange and Shawfair stations, together with Galashiels and Stow' said Carol Byers, chair of the Borders Railway Community Partnership (BRCP) which is backing the grass-roots initiative along with operator Abellio Scotrail.
Planters and other floral displays are foremost in the ambitions of groups like the Rotary Club of Dalkeith which has pledged active interest in Midlothian's busiest station, Eskbank.
A trio of community bodies - Gorebridge Cares, Gorebridge Community Council and Gorebridge Development Trust - are promoting use of the former stationmaster's house at Gorebridge.
Newtongrange, linked to it by a wheelchair-friendly walkway will be looked after by National Mining Museum Scotland, while Sahwfair, at the moment the railway's least visited stop, will be tended by Esk Valley Rotary Club.
'Groups are modelling their involvement on successful practice elsewhere in the UK where rail usage is booming and a more positive feeling of ownership is being enjoyed by customers towards their local railhead', said Ms Byers.
'Overall cleanliness and appearance of of infrastructure and landscaped areas will remain the responsibility of grouond maintenance staff who will work closely with adopters towards the same objective - a station the community can be proud of.'
For ScotRail, External Affairs Manager John Yellowlees said: 'Our adopt a station policy is about putting stations at the heart of their communities and we are delighted that all along the new Borders Railway community groups are showing such interest in taking its stations to their hearts'.
The adopter teams modelled on others already formed at Newcraighall and Brunstane were named following talks at each of the stations on the Borders Railway with representatives of ScotRail and the BRCP.