CBR Members urged to attend Scottish Cabinet Q&A in Hawick

CBR urges local members to attend the public question & answer session in connection with the forthcoming Scottish Cabinet meeting being held in Hawick on 20th and 21st August – the Q&A session is at Hawick High School at 12.45 on Wednesday 21st.

To coincide with the meeting, CBR has submitted a Briefing Paper to the Cabinet, setting out the case for the Scottish Government and Scottish Borders Council to start planning for a rail extension from Tweedbank to Hawick, as a vital first step towards Carlisle (see link below).


CBR argues for through link to Carlisle

CBR has responded to the Scottish Government’s draft National Planning Framework 3, noting that the reinstatement of the Borders to Carlisle link is supported by the South East Scotland Strategic Development Plan. CBR argues that, in the interests of joined-up policy – and for the region to truly prosper – the extension of the railway should be adopted as a ‘National Development’ in NPF3. For details, see links below.



CBR responds to Network Rail market study

CBR has responded to Network Rail’s draft Long Distance Market Study for consultation (see link below). Key points raised by CBR were:

1. Is NR’s analysis model perhaps overly biased towards flows where reasonable long-distance rail services already exist, unlike the situation in the Central Borders?

2. The study should treat the Scottish Borders as a ‘single economic area analogous to a city-region’ in the same way that the North Wales Coast or Cornwall have been.

3. Subsequent stages of the study should carefully examine the case for reinstatement of the Carlisle–Borders–Edinburgh link as a more cost effective means of addressing Anglo-Scottish capacity problems in the shorter term.

130627 LTPP-LDMS CBR Response

The Scotsman reviews rail re-opening progress

Following yesterday’s launch of substantive engineering works, The Scotsman today reviews the progress of the rail re-opening project, quoting CBR Chair Simon Walton and rail consultant/author (and CBR member) David Spaven. In contrast to the many stories about the ‘troubled’ Borders Railway in past years, the tone of coverage is now noticeably more positive!

The worst of Beeching

The Scotsman reports a new analysis of Beeching’s cuts which ranks the Waverley Route as the worst line closure in Britain.

Produced by rail consultant, author and CBR member David Spaven – with help from two rail industry colleagues – the table (see link below) ranks fifteen different routes by length of line closed / distance from the remaining rail network / population / ‘strategic connectivity’.

Beeching closures comparison final summary table

Spaven comments:

“There may be knowing smiles that the route about which I’ve written a book tops the table – but my colleagues actually prevailed upon me to increase my initial score for the Waverley Route, as they felt I was trying too hard to be seen to be scrupulously fair in the analysis! Since closure left the Borders as the only region of Britain without a rail service, and no other towns as large as Galashiels and Hawick as far from the rail network, I think the overall judgement is probably correct.”

Always two sides to a story…

Today’s Edinburgh Evening News takes the report which Saturday’s Herald used to try to discredit the Borders Railway – and sees the positive side of the story!

Under the headline ‘Borders rail link could cut 530,000 road trips’ the paper quotes author (and CBR Life Member) David Spaven on various angles ignored by the Herald:

“There has been a tendency to be over pessimistic about the number of passengers who will use the new railway and we know from experience that many rail reopening schemes have done enormously better than forecast.

“Because of the limits of modelling, it probably doesn’t pick up on what the railway can do in terms of tourism – with the massive number of tourists in Edinburgh looking for other things to do, there is scope for attracting them to Sir Walter Scott country – Tweedbank is just a mile from Abbotsford. I doubt whether that has been factored in.”

Read the whole story on: