Menu
 
Home | News | Full steam ahead in Borders railway battle
 
News | 11th June 2020
 

Full steam ahead in Borders railway battle

Campaign over whether it’s an Eskdale or a Liddesdale route

 
 
 

THE gloves are off as campaigners in the Scottish Borders fight to bring a new railway line through Liddesdale, while those in Langholm lobby to bring it through Eskdale.

The debate on which route is the better has continued to rage, although both sides agree the Borders Railway must be extended to Hawick and onto Carlisle.

But whether it links those two places through Eskdale or Liddesdale is a hot topic which can only intensify.

“Building a new cross-border rail rink is the most important post-coronavirus project we can undertake to redefine ourselves,” said Simon Walton, chairman of the Campaign for Borders Rail (CBR).

The need for investment in the community is even greater in the light of the pandemic. 

He added: “Governments in both countries and elected representatives from all political persuasions are united in understanding that economic development is vital if there is to be a meaningful recovery.

“Infrastructure, which demonstrably supports commerce and community, is the best way to invest in that recovery.

“The evidence of the success of the existing railway gives precedent to the business case the campaign made.

“We’re pushing for that consensus to be turned into commitment and move as rapidly as possible through the stages of development and construction to completion and operation.”

Nick Bethune, campaign secretary, said the need for investment represented by a new rail link had increased in the past few months.

He added: “Despite the trend for increased home-working, given impetus by the crisis, it’s clear the capacity and coverage of the rail network will need to expand.

“The changes in strategic priorities need to address the climate emergency and inclusivity goals. The ‘new normal’ may be very different but the need to extend the Borders Railway remains.”

Colin Smyth, South Scotland MSP and Scottish Labour’s transport spokesperson, has reiterated his backing for an extension to the Borders Railway but the case for it to run through Langholm was even stronger after the economic impact of the COVID-19 pandemic.

Mr Smyth said: “The campaign has never been more important and one of the keys to rebuilding our economy will be investment in infrastructure. 

“The importance of this project to the regional economy means it needs to be about connecting communities in southern Scotland, not passing through them.

“I believe the route should run through Langholm, linking one of the key towns to the rail line.

“The Borders Railway has been a huge success and there is a powerful case for an extension to Carlisle.

“It has been a genuine grassroots campaign which has united communities in the Borders and beyond.

“The economic benefits cannot be underestimated and it’s important Langholm is included in the route.

“It is not only the town itself which would profit but the surrounding communities would also gain a vital advantage.

“Including a stop in Langholm would bring significant benefits to the Eskdale community and an economy which has suffered a number of economic shocks in recent years.

“In a post-COVID-19 environment it has the potential to open new opportunities for tourism and attract visitors.”

But there is an equally strong case for Newcastleton, according to their MP, John Lamont.

He said: “It’s clear that extending the railway to Carlisle via Newcastleton will bring huge benefit to surrounding communities. It will improve connectivity and greatly enhance job opportunities.

“The extension enjoys cross-party support in the Borders and from councils.

“Similarly, it is my view that most people in Liddesdale want improved public transport links both north and south.

“I’m delighted the UK government and ministers are fully signed up to a feasibility study for a project which will benefit both sides of the border economically and environmentally.”

Rachael Hamilton, Ettrick, Roxburgh and Berwickshire MSP, added: “The extension will significantly benefit Liddesdale and the surrounding area.

“It will provide greater opportunities to travel to Edinburgh and Carlisle and encourage inward investment.

“Infrastructure projects need large capital funding but I’m confident that, once the feasibility study gets the go-ahead, it will show the line is needed to unlock economic growth in the Borders.”

 
 
Would you like to support us?

The Eskdale and Liddesdale Advertiser is our community owned local newspaper and even in today’s troubled times, we aim to bring you local news and articles in an impartial, responsible and factual way.

We hope you have enjoyed reading this free article but we need your support so we can keep delivering quality journalism that’s open and independent and keeps you up to date with what is happening in Eskdale and Liddesdale.

Every reader’s contribution, however big or small, is so valuable to us.
 
 
‘Owned by the Community...Published for the Community’
Do you have a story?

Please get in touch if you have a story or article you would like to see published.

Related Articles

School transfer news

Langholm Alliance to consult on use of former primary building

 

Langholm Town Centre Building in danger of collapse

Fears that falling scaffolding and masonry may kill or injure

 

Our dream jobs

Two new managers appointed at reserve

 

Town's revival starts to come to fruition

Langholm Alliance has contributed £15,000 to boost activities

 

Engineering a future

Academy pupils awarded Industrial Cadet certificates

 

Rachel hands over the reins to Danielle

E&L Advertiser’s new community editor takes up her new post

 

Full steam ahead for ambitious enterprise

Planners give green light to the conversion of former BFA…

 

Langholm People

OutPost Arts sets portrait challenge

 

Community purchase of school on Knife-edge

THE future of Langholm’s former primary school as a vital…

 

War Memorial improvements

LANGHOLM Social Club is pleased to announce that, after much…

 

Town’s flood scheme is ready for public airing

Once COVID-19 restrictions ease, council will meet residents

 

COVID puts paid to second Common Riding

Members reluctantly cancel Langholm’s 2021 event

 

Mr Grumpy wins for Sharon

A LANGHHOLM amateur photographer has won the top prize in…

 

Langholm misses out on major investment

Town comes too low on index of need to qualify…

 

Book tells of ages past

A BOOK about Westerkirk in the year 2020/21 is ready…

 

Pauline awarded BEM

Award given to resilience team leader

 

Plan revealed for trees on two Eskdale farms

Timber processor wants to plant 450 hectares next to Claygate

 

Memories of Joe's shop

A BLAST from the past was uncovered during renovation works…

 

Murtholm site masterplan recommended for adoption

Council agreement will pave way for 200 houses if applications…

 

Promote your event on the Town Website

“What’s on” page is an effective way to publicise your…

 

Summer blockbuster

Project to show how generations faced adversity 75 years apart

 

Fragile Community faces more Turbines

NEWCASTLETON community council has responded to a proposal for a…

 

Speed Limit zone change leaves residents baffled

Council made changes to the zoning without any consultation

 

Two options under review for 2021 Common Riding

Lifting of restrictions may give members more opportunities

 

Cannabis oil company raises £2m to sell shares

Medicinal drug greenhouse production aspires to create 50 jobs

 

Major funding boost for vital parent groups

Public vote earns Langholm Playcare £12k for family support

 

Charming and popular lady

Elizabeth Calvert, By her son, Robert Calvert ELIZABETH Calvert was…

 

Mundell wins with a larger share of votes

Conservative retains Dumfriesshire seat with 4,000 majority

 

Kiosk will be used at last

THE Langholm Initiative has announced it took over ownership of…

 

Fly-tipper seen while dumping her fridge

Second item left in Eskdale in a week highlights waste…

 

Can crumbling castle be saved from collapse?

Part of Langholm’s history in danger of disappearing altogether

 

Langholm designers showcase latest collection

Rose’s Wardrobe Vintage launch their first summer collection

 

Row over hub’s role in serving its community

Validity of a questionnaire on catering for shooters is doubted

 

Residents in fear of their lives every day

Neighbours are extremely concerned about the state of the spire

 

Vote for us

Public asked to give support

 

Specially-brewed Duke's Ale a hit with HRH

A Langholm man tells of his company’s relationship with the…

 

Ranges reclassed as major developments

Council declares both applications at Eskdalemuir as invalid

 

Langholm-brewed real ale is a real hit

Borderlands Brewery’s Esk Blonde sells out in twelve hours

 

Eskdale tributes to Prince Philip

TRIBUTES have been paid to the Duke of Edinburgh by…

 

Day Centre applauded for its endless support

Staff and volunteers deliver over 10,000 meals during lockdowns

 
 
requires mailchimp logins and wired up to a list
Join our mailing list
Keep up to date with all that’s going on at the E&L
This site uses cookies.
Configure
 
Read our privacy policy

This site uses cookies for marketing, personalisation, and analysis purposes. You can opt out of this at any time or view our full privacy policy for more information.