PRESS RELEASE – Monday, 29 June 2020
Include Borders Railway in Big Build
The Campaign for Borders Rail is calling on the UK Government to include extension of the Borders Railway, as a crucial project within their ‘Big Build’ economic revival programme, and to complete the line between Edinburgh, the Borders, and Carlisle.
An announcement is expected on Tuesday (30 June) of a significant programme of infrastructure investment across the UK. The Campaign for Borders Rail says that within the context of economic recovery, the completion of the former Waverley Route, through Hawick to Carlisle, provides a ready-made project to stimulate local, regional and national growth. They say that the so-called ‘Big Build’ must also consider the Borders Railway.
Simon Walton, chair of the Campaign, said that extending the Borders Railway between Tweedbank and Carlisle, has the backing of community, commerce, administrations, and industry at large throughout the UK.
“If the UK Government is to introduce a programme of infrastructure investment, which is to underpin the recovery of the UK economy, then the re-establishment of this cross-border rail link absolutely fits the bill. The Campaign for Borders Rail has consistently made the case that a new, fit for purpose, Borders Railway will promote economic regeneration, social inclusion, and environmental sustainability. Add to that the fact that a new Borders Railway will benefit not just the national network now, by providing much needed capacity, but will also economically benefit many generations to come. This can be a legacy project that demonstrates a commitment to long-term recovery and faith in the future.”
The Campaign calls on Governments on both sides of the England-Scotland border to co-operate on making a new Borders Railway a reality. Their submission comes on the heels of a report from the widely-representative High Speed Rail Group, which specifically cited completing the Borders Railway as a crucial development for the national rail network and to help take full advantage of the HS2 project (see the HSRG document “High Speed Rail and Scotland”).
Simon Walton added that devolved transport powers should be an opportunity, not an obstacle to progress. “Both Westminster and Holyrood Governments have already demonstrated that the economic regeneration of the Borderlands is a priority,” he said. “The Campaign already works at a cross-party, cross-border and cross-administration levels to encourage railway development as a tangible and achievable way of making the common goals of opportunity, inclusion and sustainability a reality.”
For further comment, contact Simon Walton on 07540 313018
Read the Campaign’s “Summary Case for a new cross-border rail link” here.
The Campaign for Borders Rail is a long-established pressure group promoting the benefits of modern train services for communities across the Borderlands. Our grassroots campaign saw the rail link from Edinburgh to the Scottish Borders reopened. Now we’re lobbying to extend the popular Borders Railway onward to Hawick and Carlisle. Visit the Campaign website for further details.