STAG Report on Beattock Railway Station: FOI release

Information request and response under the Freedom of Information (Scotland) Act 2002.

Information requested

Minutes/Notes of the Meeting, possibly by the Transport Strategy and Analysis team, which determined the conclusion that there was not strong enough evidence within the STAG Report to move it up to the Strategic Business Case (SBC) level for the reopening of Beattock Railway Station.


A copy of all of the information you requested, titled ‘Document 1’, is below. I would like to note that these are officials' informal notes and have not been agreed with SWestrans.

An exemption(s) under section(s) Section 30(b)(i) and Section 38 (1) (b) of FOISA applies to some of the information you have requested.

Section 30(b)(i) – free and frank provision of advice or exchange of views 

Information is exempt under sections 30(b) if disclosure would, or would be likely to, inhibit substantially:

  1. the free and frank provision of advice (section 30(b)(i)) or
  2. the free and frank exchange of views for the purposes of deliberation (section 30(b)(ii)).

Section 38(1)(b) – Third party data

An exemption under section 38(1)(b) of FOISA (personal information) applies to some of the information requested because it is personal data of a third party, i.e. names and contact details of individuals and companies, and disclosing it would contravene the data protection principles in Article 5(1) of the General Data Protection Regulation and in section 34(1) of the Data Protection Act 2018.

All exempted data has been marked with the Section of the Freedom of Information (Scotland) Act 2002, except exemptions which are ‘Third Party Data’. Due to the volume of redaction the section of the Freedom of Information (Scotland) Act 2002 is not listed.

Meeting with SWestrans - 17 May 2023
Attendees: [Redacted], [Redacted] & [Redacted]

[Redacted] thanked [Redacted] for their time and for their patience in awaiting our review of the 3 appraisal reports to allow STPR2 to conclude and consider any implications for the 3 study areas.

[Redacted] provided an overview of STPR2 and its outcomes.

[Redacted] summarised the evolution of these appraisals.

[Redacted] noted she was interested to hear more about the Action Group's involvement and any funding from them as she understood Beattock Action Group may have funded some of the appraisal for their area. [Redacted] noted, from memory, that this was the case and was a small proportion in around 2017-2018. [Redacted] also noted that Beattock have the ear of Emma Harper, Eastriggs chaired by Colin Smyth and Thornhill supported by Oliver Mundell. Mr Yousaf also met school children on the matter when he was MfT.

[Redacted] noted that she would be really keen to hear Swestrans view on the 3 reports and how this has been presented to the Board over time. Noting that Transport Scotland (TS) are coming to the end of their review and are struggling to see where the compelling socio-economic case is for the 3 stations.

[Redacted] noted the board are fully behind all 3 stations and that they should be treated the same and [Redacted - Section 30(b)(i)] [Redacted] also noted potential LUF funding being considered and that it's struggling trying to make the finances add up. [Redacted] requested that a written response from TS once their review of the 3 appraisals was complete. [TS ACTION noting Appendix 4 of previous SWestrans Board Papers 2019]

[Redacted] noted his understanding of the rail pipeline decision points. [Redacted] and [Redacted] explained that STAG is pre-pipeline and that they can provide further advice on this.


[Redacted] noted she was keen to understand the bus and active travel interventions. Noting she understood there are bus services in the region but not without current challenges. [Redacted] responded noting there was bus options in the appraisal but that there are almost no bus services in D&G currently.

[Redacted] asked if there isn't the 3 new rail stations what is the next steps for SWestrans. [Redacted] noted this was a good question and they would need to consider implications for their Regional Transport Strategy. [POST MEETING NOTE: check status of RTS].

[Redacted] noted that the Board papers from September 2019 on these STAG appraisals made clear that TS had stated that any investment in rail interventions (services or infrastructure) will only occur where they clearly represent the optimum value for money solution in terms of economic, social and environmental outcomes. [Redacted] further noted that this paper also set out that the engagement with the current train operators on the line highlighted a lack of desire to alter existing service patterns given current rail markets served and capacity issues on the line. [Pg 70 SWestrans_Board_Papers_-_Sept_2019.pdf]

[Redacted] noted that the Board decided it would stack up. [Redacted - Section 30(b)(i)]

[Redacted] thanked [Redacted] for his time, wished him the best for the continuing bus challenges in D&G and noted that she will be aiming to write to him in the coming weeks with their feedback on the appraisals undertaken by SWestrans.

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