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

Library provides update

2020, the year of the pandemic, brought much of Westerkirk…

 

£500k price tag stops Holmwood flood plan

Residents to be offered individual protection measures instead

 

Rachel moves on after 21 years as Editor

Change in the air at Muckle Toon Media

 

Historic deal to buy moor signed

For the first time Langholm owns Tarras Valley

 

Massive jobs boost to meet demand for PPE

Enterprise agency gives biggest grant so far to boost economy

 

On the trail of bunny and friends

LANGHOLM Regeneration Group’s Easter trail, which starts next weekend, has…

 

CCTV will protect Newcastleton from crime and flooding

Community Council raises £34k to install cameras to deter criminal…

 

German film crew on Langholm Moor

LANGHOLM Moor showed its wildest side when a German TV…

 

Agency awards £92k to station conversion

Work on building four flats is expected to be completed…

 

Fears for traumatised war veterans on retreat

Mental health counsellor says no to Eskdalemuir rifle ranges ARMED…

 

Council tax freeze avoids 3% increase

Dumfries and Galloway councillors vote for budget proposals

 

Eskdale shooters will bring jobs and income

Up to half a million pounds will be spent annually…

 

Support vital

Lessons need to be learned from this

 

Nightmare jail ordeal after migrant incident

Canonbie lorry driver held in Dutch prison with no contact

 

Joshua smashes his target for operation

Canonbie schoolboy raises nearly £30,000 with friends’ help

 

Residents distressed over military exercise

And fears over shooting ranges operating without permission

 

Second year of devastation for Newcastleton

Up to 30 homes flooded as river Liddel burst banks

 

Langholm groups reap rewards from the wind

Thousands are paid by the Ewe Hill 6 windfarm to…

 

A big surprise

Congratulations to Rowanburn couple

 

Study identifies top 10 projects for funding

Nearly 1,000 ideas proposed on how to use windfarm grants

 

Operation to change boy’s life costs £25k

Joshua turned down in Scotland but Liverpool hospital steps in

 

Do not feed

Horse nearly dies from treats

 

Sports centre redesign is to be scaled back

Flood plain and funding challenge force rethink on Townfoot

 

Feedback will aid bridge plan

Developer seeks views on active travel

 

Multi-purpose centre will attract thousands

Langholm’s regeneration is on track for an enterprising future

 

GP practices join list of vaccination venues

Over 70s can be vaccinated in the first two weeks…

 

No police here

Crimes go unreported and unrecorded

 

Mass testing deployed after cases spike at 41

Langholm and Eskdale has highest number of cases in district

 

New company will run nature reserve

Estate manager will be recruited to implement moorland plan

 

Course to help women set up their own business comes to Liddesdale

LIDDESDALE has been chosen as one of three rural areas…

 

Eskdale COVID-19 cases second highest

Esk valley comes second only to Gretna in the whole…

 

Rail group argues its case to UK review body

Extension to Carlisle will bring economic and social benefits

 

Over 80s welcome call to receive vaccination

The most elderly in Langholm will be vaccinated from next…

 

A danner for Doddie

DODDIE Weir’s story has touched the rugby world. He played…

 

EWM is sold but not all jobs will be saved

CRITICISM has been levelled at the way Tuesday’s sale of…

 

Kerry’s passion for town lands her the dream job

THE Langholm Alliance has announced the appointment of its project…

 

A Kiwi Christmas

Langholm lass sends positive vibes from a land down under

 

More infectious virus forces new lockdown

Measures close schools and businesses as vaccine is rolled out

 

Better early warning system to be devised

Newcastleton villagers are urged to protect their own houses

 

Ploughing halted after breach of conditions

Forestry watchdog steps in to investigate the loss of deep…

 
 
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.