Report calls for railway to be extended

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A report has been produced outlining the advantages of extending the Borders Railway.

Published by the Campaign for Borders Rail (CBR), the report says the line between Edinburgh and Tweedbank should be improved and extended via Hawick to Carlisle, which could provide a “new strategic link” in the national network.

Extending the line is already being examined as part of a wider study of transport issues in southern Scotland.

“We believe that the Borders needs a through route to the south to maximise the region’s economic potential,” the CBR report states.

The Summary Case for a New Cross-Border Rail Link describes the vision for an extended Borders Railway as an “exciting opportunity”.

The briefing document sets out the CBR’s commercial, social and economic cases for a new railway linking the existing Tweedbank terminus to the West Coast Main Line at Mossband, just north of Carlisle.

“The completed railway would allow through trains between Edinburgh and Carlisle, serving intermediate settlements including Hawick,” the report states.

“Communities not directly served would benefit from access by connecting bus services and park and ride stations.”

“The economies of Edinburgh, Midlothian and the northern Borders have all gained demonstrably from the opening of the Borders Railway,” said Allan McLean, chairman of the CBR.

“Now it is time for Hawick and other communities in the southern Borders to benefit directly.”

The report has been presented to Transport Minister Humza Yousaf.

Earlier this year it was announced a new study would look at the possibility of extending the Borders Railway.