Call to extend Borders Rail Link to Hawick

Campaigners want the Borders Rail Link to go to Hawick. Picture: Stuart CobleyCampaigners want the Borders Rail Link to go to Hawick. Picture: Stuart Cobley
Campaigners want the Borders Rail Link to go to Hawick. Picture: Stuart Cobley
A campaign group is calling on the Scottish Government to extend the Borders Rail Link between Edinburgh and Tweedbank, stretching it a further 18 miles to Hawick.

While the Tweedbank link is set to open in 2015, the Campaign for Borders Rail want the line to go further, and will attempt to make their case today during a Scottish Cabinet visit to Hawick.

The CBR have submitted a briefing paper in a bid to convince the Scottish Government and Borders Council to build the extension.

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The CBR paper claims that Hawick drastically lost out when the 98-mile Waverley Route from Edinburgh to Carlisle borders link was closed in 1969. It says that where the train service took around one and a quarter hours from Edinburgh, the current bus service takes an hour longer.

A Q&A session on the issue will be held at Hawick High School tomorrow.

A Transport Scotland spokesman said:

“The Scottish Government with its rail industry partners is focussed on delivering the £294m Borders Railway project which will re-establish rail passenger services from Scotland’s capital to Tweedbank in the Scottish Borders for the first time in over 40 years. With construction for the new railway now underway, the 30 miles of new track and seven new stations will deliver a fast efficient railway as well as major economic and social development opportunities, supporting over 400 jobs during construction and acting as a catalyst for more business and housing developments.

“The extension of the Borders Railway to Hawick was considered as part of the Strategic Transport Projects Review but was not recommended for taking forward. However, as part of the Borders Railway project, Scottish Borders Council has formally committed to ensuring public transport systems, including local bus services and walking and cycling routes are integrated with services that will be provided by the railway to ensure wider regional access.”