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17 December 2009

Dunbar passengers on track for more new services

Passengers travelling to and from Dunbar are set to receive a boost next year with the planned introduction of additional services connecting the town with Edinburgh.

Transport Scotland is working with ScotRail to introduce new Monday-Friday services from May 2010.

Under the proposal, which is subject to confirmation under standard industry procedures, passengers would be able to travel to Dunbar from Edinburgh at 1000 and 1421, and in the opposite direction at 1057 and 1504. A late evening service from Edinburgh to Dunbar would run at 2200 or later Monday to Thursday.

From December 2010, ScotRail is expected to also begin running the 2304 Edinburgh to Dunbar on a Friday.

Transport Scotland is negotiating the introduction of all of the new services as part of the deal to extend the ScotRail franchise with FirstGroup, which was signed in April 2008.

Transport Minister Stewart Stevenson said: "More people are switching to more sustainable modes of transport and these new services would provide further opportunities for passengers to travel between Edinburgh and Dunbar by rail.

“We are working hard to ensure communities along the east coast and across Scotland can benefit from access to the rail network and are investing significantly in extending services – both in terms of expanding infrastructure and plugging gaps in the timetable.

“We are seeking to confirm this option which will enable ScotRail to operate these additional services during the week and will open the door to other potential service improvements in the future.”

ScotRail managing director Steve Montgomery said: “Our commitment to improving rail travel opportunities between East Lothian and the capital is well known. We very much hope to be in a position to welcome people on board these planned new ScotRail services.”

A joint Transport Scotland and ScotRail study of the benefits of an hourly Dunbar to Edinburgh service will be undertaken in the near future, and will also consider options between Edinburgh and Newcastle.

The feasibility study will consider services from Edinburgh to Newcastle, Edinburgh to Berwick and the possibility of new stations at East Linton and Reston. The study is expected to take no more than a year to complete and ScotRail will appoint consultants to undertake the study in the near future.

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