The Campaign for Borders Rail appreciates that there are many and varied transport needs in the Scottish Borders.
A campaign spokesman said: “The resounding success of the new railway in tapping into huge and unpredicted demand for rail travel is a clear indication of the potential for capitalising on that success, which can only be achieved by extending the line southwards to benefit a larger catchment area. The consideration of possible road improvements across the region, for example to tackle accident black-spots, should be a separate exercise and should not be allowed to affect or diminish the Scottish Government’s clear commitment to examine the feasibility of extending the new railway.”
The Campaign for Borders Rail welcomes confirmation that significantly more people have used the Borders Railway between Tweedbank and Edinburgh in its first year of operation than was formally expected. The campaign is also looking forward to the results of a promised study into the potential for railway development in the Borders.
“The return of trains is incredibly popular in the Scottish Borders. The line has boosted the economies of the Borders and Midlothian. This proves that people were right to argue for so long in favour of railway services. The time has now come to enhance the existing route to match the level of demand and to prepare for the extension of tracks to serve more communities by train,” said Allan McLean, the retired railway manager who chairs the Campaign for Borders Rail (CBR).
Politicians from different political parties have backed the concept of a study into the potential for extension of the railway. For example, it was widely reported that on a visit to Hawick earlier this year, the First Minister, Nicola Sturgeon, said that it made sense to look at extending the line to other communities in view of the success of the existing route.
Notes to Editors: The Borders Railway is largely on the trackbed of the northern third of the Waverley Route that closed in 1969 between Edinburgh and Carlisle through Galashiels and Hawick. There is a deviation from the original alignment between Edinburgh and Midlothian to serve a new development at Shawfair. There are stations at Tweedbank, Galashiels, Stow, Gorebridge, Newtongrange, Eskbank and Shawfair and Borders trains also serve stations in Edinburgh at Newcraighall, Brunstane and Waverley. The Borders Railway was formally opened by the Queen on 9 September 2015, a few days after initial passengers were carried by ScotRail.
News Media contact for the CBR: Allan McLean, phone 07531 129 892 or email email@example.com