Menu
 
Home | News | Scottish Borders Council way off track with ruling
 
News | 8th March 2021
 

Scottish Borders Council way off track with ruling

Committed rail group has asked for decision to be reviewed

 
 
 

A LANGHOLM community leader has criticised Scottish Borders Council for going it alone in pushing for the Borders railway extension to go through Newcastleton.

Denis Male, Langholm & Distrct Rail Group chairman, says Dumfries and Galloway and Scottish Borders council should work in partnership to lobby for an extension to be given the go-ahead without favouring one particular route.

He has now written to councillor Shona Haslam, Borders Council leader, and to councillor Elaine Murray, Dumfries and Galloway’s leader.
To Mrs Haslam, he wrote: “Our group is committed to the extension of the railway from Tweedbank and re-establishing, after an absence of more than 50 years, the Edinburgh to Carlisle link.
“It is recognised that, to a large extent, the route would follow the former Waverley line but, it should be recalled, the preferred route of both railway companies involved in the 1840s was through Langholm.

“It was only because of political wrangling that the final route chosen was through Newcastleton.
“We believe a route through Langholm remains the most viable option from an economic point of view and it would bring the greatest benefit to the greatest number of people.

“The Waverley route decision was based on the extraction and transportation of coal but that need no longer exists.

“The extraction of timber from Kielder is in decline and the focus of that activity for the next 10 to 50 years will be on the Esk Valley and Langholm.
“We’re concerned your council has decided to rubber-stamp the submission to the Union Connectivity Review which includes support for a route through Newcastleton.

“We believe that the stronger the economic case, the better the chances of the project succeeding and the Langholm option provides a stronger alternative to the Newcastleton route and should be properly investigated.

“We were promised that by the Minister of Transport in November 2019.
“We know the Campaign for Borders Rail has done a great job in promoting the Edinburgh to Carlisle route.

“Although many of our members are CBR members, it should not be involved in micro-managing the project and making decisions over which route the line should take.
“To bring the benefits ‘to the greater number of people’, Dumfries and Galloway must be involved.

“Current outline plans provide for four stations in the Borders. If the line went through Newcastleton, there would be five but none in D&G.

“Under the Borderlands Growth Deal, the two Scottish councils are supposedly equal partners with those over the border and the submission to the Union Connectivity Review should reflect that partnership.

“A united front will give the project a greater chance of success.
“Most rail users in your council area would prefer a link to Langholm rather than Newcastleton.

“Jobs are being created here with the recent inception of the Langholm and meaningful support from the South of Scotland Enterprise.

“The success of the Langholm Initiative in acquiring 5,200 acres of the moor indicate a major community commitment to reversing economic decline.

“We hope your council will reconsider its decision and give its support to whichever route is likely to bring ‘the greatest benefit to the greatest number of people’.
In a letter to councillor Elaine Murray, Dumfries and Galloway Council leader, he wrote: “We’re not sure whether you have made a submission under the Union Connectivity Review and, if so, does it include support for extending the railway onwards from Tweedbank to Carlisle?

“We have asked Scottish Borders Council to reconsider its decision and give its support to whichever route is likely to bring ‘the greatest benefit to the greatest number of people’.

“I hope you and your colleagues can support us in this view.”

A council spokesperson said: “We have received the letter and will be in touch with Langholm and District Rail Group in due course.”

Meanwhile, Oliver Mundell, Dumfriesshire MSP, took up the group’s letter with Michael Matheson, transport minister, in parliament on Monday.

He asked the minister whether the government would conduct a feasibility study on extending the railway to include an alternative route via Langholm.

Mr Matheson confirmed the second Strategic Transport Projects Review (STPR2) was underway and included consideration of options to extend the line from Tweedbank to Carlisle and towards Berwick-upon-Tweed.

He said phase two of the review would conclude this autumn.

He added: “Should an extension to Carlisle be recommended, the government will work with Borderlands Inclusive Growth Deal partners to progress to the next stages of business case development.

“This would include consideration of potential alignments (routes).

“Funding of £10m has been committed through the deal for more work, including £5m from the Scottish government.”

 
 
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

Chilli festival coming to Langholm

Self-confessed chilli capital of Scotland to host first ever ChilliFest

 

Public consultation on flood proposals promised

Councillor says ‘Ditch the Drain’ campaigners are being heard

 

Resurfacing works to result in A7 road closures

A7 road BEAR Scotland

The A7 will be closed between Canonbie and Hawick between…

 

Call for unvaccinated to come forward for jabs

Covid passports to be introduced in Scotland for those aged…

 

Talk to the Tarras team

Drop in every Wednesday for a chat

 

Muckle Toon Media welcomes new chairman

An optimistic John Hammond picks up the reins of the…

 

Over 100 residents attend heated flood defence meeting

Calls for renewed consultation with both regional and community councils

 

Kat joins Tarras team

Kat Mayer takes up her role as project and education…

 

Recycling Centre on the cards for Langholm

92% want to have the opportunity to dispose of garden…

 

National labour crisis felt by local businesses

Shortage of 100,000 drivers impacts on deliveries across the UK

 

FTS management duo gain prestigious degree

TWO local dyers have become the first to graduate from…

 

Canonbie Surgery relocates for major building repairs

EMERGENCY building repairs will be undertaken at Canonbie Surgery following…

 

Scaffolding fixed but what happens next?

Council forced to carry out repairs before something dreadful happens

 

Memorial centenary

THE 100th anniversary of the Langholm war memorial in Buccleuch…

 

Cleaning at the Kirk

Great team effort is appreciated

 

The Passion Remains

ONCE again, a much-reduced version of Langholm Common Riding was…

 

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

 
 
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.