FOI reference: FOI/18/00026
Date received: 5 January 2018
Date responded: 6 February 2018
You asked for 'a breakdown of the meetings that the Minister for Transport and the Islands has had with all stakeholders regarding the potential re-opening of Beattock, Thornhill and Eastriggs train stations.'
As the information you have requested is 'environmental information' for the purposes of the Environmental Information (Scotland) Regulations 2004 (EIRs), we are required to deal with your request under those Regulations. We are applying the exemption at section 39(2) of the Freedom of Information (Scotland) Act 2002 (FOISA), so that we do not also have to deal with your request under FOISA.
This exemption is subject to the 'public interest test'. Therefore, taking account of all the circumstances of this case, we have considered if the public interest in disclosing the information outweighs the public interest in applying the exemption. We have found that, on balance, the public interest lies in favour of upholding the exemption, because there is no public interest in dealing with the same request under two different regimes. This is essentially a technical point and has no material effect on the outcome of your request.
We do endeavor to provide information whenever possible. Please see below the information held for the period you specifically specify in relation to your question, including some additional information.
Keith Brown, Minister for Transport and Veterans, met four members of Beattock Station Action Group, Martin Brown, Peter Gray, John Kane and Hugh Geddes, along with Karen Riddick and Harry Thompson from SWestrans. This meeting took place on 24 September 2014, from 10:00 until 11:00. During this meeting Mr. Brown was given a tour of the previous station site. No action points arose at this meeting and accordingly, no notes are recorded.
Derek MacKay, Minister for Transport and the Islands, had an informal meeting with Joan McAlpine MSP and Aileen Campbell MSP on 28 January 2016, from 13:30 until 14:00 at the Scottish Parliament. The meeting agenda included a discussion of the aspiration of reopening Beattock station and a discussion on Lanark to Edinburgh services/lines. As this was a short, informal political meeting, there are no notes available.
Humza Yousaf, Minister for Transport and the Islands, met Oliver Mundell MSP, Joan McAlpine MSP, three members of Beattock Station Action Group, Melanie Allen, David Formstone, John Holroyd, Diana Roberts from the HALO trust and two local school pupils. This meeting was held on 7 November 2017, from 12:45 until 13:30 at the Scottish Parliament. The purpose of this meeting was for Thornhill Station Action Group to present their case for the station re-opening to the Minister. The meeting notes held have been provided in full and are attached below.
Humza Yousaf, Minister for Transport and the Islands, met with Beattock Station Action Group on 31 January 2018, from 13:45 until 14:30. This meeting was with Joan McAlpine MSP and supporters and members of Beattock Station Action Group to discuss their aspirations for re-opening Thornhill Station. The notes from this meeting will be issued to you in due course.
The Scottish Government is committed to publishing all information released in response to Freedom of Information requests. View all FOI responses at http://www.gov.scot/foi-responses
Please quote the FOI reference
Central Enquiry Unit
Phone: 0300 244 4000
The Scottish Government
St Andrew's House