Rail fears about impact on tourism

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The Federation of Small Businesses has warned that ongoing high profile disruption to services on the Borders Railway risks putting off visitors to Midlothian.

Politicians and commuters have hit out at ScotRail operator Abellio in recent months, with frustrations at overcrowding, delays and cancellations on the line.

Now Sally de Waard, owner of award-winning exclusive let property The Old Millhouse in Dalkeith, has voiced her concerns.

She said: “A key selling point of The Old Millhouse is our proximity to both the Borders and Edinburgh. The railway should provide just that. I want to encourage guests to make green travel choices – but due to the overcrowding and delays, it’s a hard recommendation to make. As we enter into peak season, I truly hope that ScotRail can make improvements that mean visitors and locals are able to rely on the train to take them to the thriving city or relaxing Borders as they choose.”

A ScotRail spokesman said: “It’s been a challenging time for Scotland’s railway, and everyone at the ScotRail Alliance is working flat out to provide customers with the service they deserve. Over the course of this year, we will begin to redeploy more of our existing Class 170 trains to the Borders. These trains will add more than 1,500 extra seats each day.”