Letters to the Editor

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Transport - The railway has diminished area

Sir, – It was with some interest that I read Gordon Henderson`s article on the Borders Railway. Whilst appreciating how beneficial it has appeared to be to the Borders neither in this article or in any of his previous articles does Mr Henderson give any consideration to the effect this railway has had on the part of Midlothian through which it runs.

To facilitate this railway Midlothian lost a much used walkway/cycleway, Sheriffhall to Hardengreen which was part of the national cycleway network and has yet to be suitably replaced. The residents of properties beside the tracks, of which I am one, have had the quality of their area diminished as we are now subjected to 66 trains a day, Monday to Saturday starting at 06:00 hours and finishing at midnight and 30 each Sunday 09:30 hours to 23:30 hours. The noise of the trains as they approach and leave Eskbank station can be heard clearly around the area and the vibration at times on the longer trains ie those with more than the two carriages is considerable and Mr Henderson wants to increase the number of carriages?

Mr Henderson states in the article that the re-opening has been a huge success. On what is he basing this on?

There have been several articles in the national press saying that the success of the Borders Railway can only really be assessed after the second full year of operation as the first year would have had a “novelty” value for people to take the journey just say they had done it. In financial terms is the line making a profit or will it have to rely on huge subsidies for years to come?

Apart from the mining museum what other visitor attractions in Midlothian can show a significant benefit from the railway?

The excellent recently refurbished Dalkeith Country Park should have better links to Eskbank Station – it is too far to walk particularly as a family with children.

Through his rose-tinted glasses Mr Henderson paints a picture of the Borders Railway being win-win for all which is far from the case in reality and in advocating extending the line to Carlisle what are the economic grounds for doing so to avoid the extension being a waste of a large amount of tax payers money which could be put to better use? – Yours, etc.,

Gordon McLeod

Lasswade Road


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