IN A PREVIOUS job, I spent some time on the ‘theory’ of campaigning, which, believe it or not, is a real academic discipline.

There are ‘rules’ for a successful campaign; one of the basic ones is: “Aim the campaign at whoever can deliver the thing you want” (you would be amazed how many campaigns get that wrong!). Another is: “Be prepared for the long haul.”

The campaign for a new station at East Linton has certainly been long. Local rail campaigners RAGES have worked on this relentlessly for 20 years, and through sheer determination have overcome every obstacle put in their path.

They have even succeeded in the new service being part of the current ScotRail franchise – ScotRail are supposed to start running it by the end of 2018.

The only thing which really stands in the way now is the cost of the new station. Which takes us to that second rule.

There has been some argument recently about whose fault it is the station is not yet being built. The answer is simple: the Scottish Government are responsible for railways and funding infrastructure such as stations.

To try and push them along, East Lothian Council have promised millions of pounds as a contribution – more money than any council I know of has ever provided for a station. Unfortunately, the Transport Minister has so far refused to come up with the balance required. This is disappointing, because the SNP Scottish Government did come up with the money for the £294m Borders railway.

Now our station has been put into an infrastructure plan which starts in 2019. RAGES, the council and I have all demanded of the Transport Minister that it be the top early priority. We won’t give up – we are in it for the long haul.