Monday 15 Feb 2021
Public meeting is platform to share information on station development
- Region & Route:
- Scotland’s Railway: Scotland
The Network Rail team behind the proposed station development at East Linton attended a public meeting to discuss the project and answer questions from members of the community.
Held online and organised by Councillor Paul McLennan, the meeting provided a platform for more than 30 people to raise any concerns and get a response directly from the team proposing the development.
The discussion was wide ranging with questions being raised covering; vehicle access to the station, access paths, proximity of primary school, the station footbridge/lifts and car parking. There were also questions on all aspects of the construction work required to deliver the project and when the work will be completed and the station open to the public.
With many of the issues being discussed subject to planning and funding decisions the Network Rail team were unable to offer clarity on all of the questions, however the meeting did provide another valuable opportunity to engage with the wider community and listen to the concerns being raised. Previous similar meetings have resulted in changes to the proposal prior to the planning application being made and Network Rail is encouraging everyone locally to share their views through the Council’s planning process.
Councillor Paul McLennan who represents the Dunbar and East Linton ward on East Lothian Council said “I was delighted to host the meeting as local councillor following questions from the community about the planning application. It was a well-attended meeting with representatives from Network Rail, East Lothian Council Planning, Primary School, Community Council and RAGES.
“I look forward to working with all partners to resolve any issues outstanding”
Nicola Slaven, Network Rail’s lead planner for the East Linton station development said, “We have worked closely with the council and other local partners and stakeholders to develop the best possible design proposal for the new station at East Linton. The feedback we have received to date has been hugely positive and it is evident that there is great local support for the project.
“Earlier engagement with the community has resulted in the plans being further refined to reflect comments shared with us and we are grateful that the community has taken the time to engage with the project and offer their views. Following this meeting we will revise the Q&A section of the project web pages and will continue to update and share information with the community as soon as we can.
Network Rail submitted a planning application for the development in December 2020 and it is presently being considered by East Lothian Council and it is open for public review and comment here .
Anyone with any questions about the project can contact Network Rail by email at Eastlintonstation@networkrail.co.uk
Notes to Editors
Some of the issues raised at the public meeting and our responses are highlighted below. We will update the FAQ section of the Scotland’s Railway project web pages with this information and will use this platform to continue to share information and updates with the community going forward.
- Why are we building a footbridge/lifts and not the existing underpass?
The primary driver for a footbridge and lifts is to deliver step-free access across the railway and on to both platforms. While we looked at the underpass as a legitimate option to provide a step-free route across the railway, the distance of the walking-route that this would create (measured from platform to platform) would mean that it would not be compliant with current guidance on how we create accessible and user-friendly stations.
While we appreciate that the lift towers are significant structures, their scale is necessary for a number of reasons. The railway at this location is electrified using overhead wires and sits on an embankment. This leads to the lifts being at three levels; ground – platform – bridge. The footbridge has to sit at a safe height over the electric wires. Consequently, these factors combine to mean that the lifts can appear to be both visible and imposing – but unavoidably so.
In light of this, we design these structures as much as possible to fit with the surrounding environment and use appropriate colours and finishes to minimise their overall impact on the surrounding environment and the sky-line.
- Why does the station require two access points? Can you not create one access point from the car park?
The role of the station is to serve the community by enhancing transport networks and improving connectivity. Creating safe walking/cycling routes makes it more likely that people will use these methods to get to the station rather than using the car. Accesses on both sides of the station also better serves the community now and as it grows in the future.
- Why are the access paths so wide?
The paths proposed in the plan have been agreed with the local Council and comply with the appropriate dimensions and standards required for this development. They are the required width to enable people to safely cycle and walk to the station.
- The proposed project is very close to the school right next to train station – is this an issue?
Safety is our top priority and we take every opportunity open to us to educate people an appropriate behaviour around the railway. The addition of a station with additional vehicle movements to and/from will increase the risk but we will engage with local schools, community groups and partners to highlight the dangers and reinforce the rail safety messages.
- How long will it take to build the station?
We are still working with our contractors to develop plans to deliver the work. Typically, projects of this kind can take 12-18 months to deliver but the exact timing of work is subject to when we can agree closures of the railway (possessions) to safely carry out certain elements of the work. When we have the appropriate permissions and consents in place, we will be able to confirm exactly when the work can take place and how long it will take.
- When will the station be open to the public?
The development is still subject to planning decisions by the Council and funding approval by Transport Scotland. We would anticipate that the station will be open by March 2024 – the end of our current five-year funding period – at the latest. We will though work with our stakeholders and partners to pull this date forward if possible.
- How many parking spaces will there be and are there electric car charging points?
The plan proposes 126 spaces in the car park. Initially 18 of these (approx. 15%) will offer electric-car charging points – however we will make provision for this number to grow in the future a required. Car park will also offer disabled spaces as well as drop-off point and bus/stop turning circle.
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About Network Rail
We own, operate and develop Britain's railway infrastructure; that's 20,000 miles of track, 30,000 bridges, tunnels and viaducts and the thousands of signals, level crossings and stations. We run 20 of the UK's largest stations while all the others, over 2,500, are run by the country's train operating companies.
Usually, there are almost five million journeys made in the UK and over 600 freight trains run on the network. People depend on Britain's railway for their daily commute, to visit friends and loved ones and to get them home safe every day. Our role is to deliver a safe and reliable railway, so we carefully manage and deliver thousands of projects every year that form part of the multi-billion pound Railway Upgrade Plan, to grow and expand the nation's railway network to respond to the tremendous growth and demand the railway has experienced - a doubling of passenger journeys over the past 20 years.