A fiasco in the making

After Neil Ballantyne’s take on the Great Tapestry of Scotland coming to Tweedbank (letters, December 25), may I give the considered view of a retired railway worker on why it has been destined for that location from the start.

z On September 25 in this newspaper, then First Minister Alex Salmond said the Borders Railway would attract 600,000 passengers a year.

z A report, published in a sister newspaper five years ago, by Midlothian Council, stated that just over half the working population of that area worked in Edinburgh – that is more than 20,000 commuters daily each way.

z All studies so far have estimated at least three quarters of railway users will be in Midlothian from Gorebridge northwards, which leaves 150,000 passengers – 400 per day – using the railway in the Borders.

z The off-peak Class 158 two carriage trains will be empty and the idea of locating the tapestry near the terminus of the railway is a cynical attempt, and an expensive one at that, to try to boost the numbers using the railway because it is going to be a white elephant – a £350million one at that.

z In the Scottish Borders Council report, re the business case for locating the tapestry in the Borders, it states that 75 per cent of visitors will come by car, not train, so locating the tapestry at Tweedbank is a fiasco.

As a Selkirk voter, I am, like many in the town, disappointed that councillors Gordon Edgar and Vicky Davidson never once supported any moves to locate the tapestry in the town. Never mind, in May 2017 they will pay at the polls.

Roy Brown

Murray Place

Selkirk