Meeting being held to rally support for Borders Railway extension plea

Hawick councillor Davie Paterson outside the old stationmaster's house in Newcastleton.
Hawick councillor Davie Paterson outside the old stationmaster's house in Newcastleton.

A meeting is to be held in Hawick next month as part of moves to push for the extension of the Borders Railway to the town and on to Carlisle.

The get-together at Hawick Town Hall on Friday, September 8, has been organised by Hawick and Hermitage councillor Davie Paterson.

It is part of his campaign to highlight the economic benefits to Hawick and Newcastleton if the line is extended to Cumbri via those two locations.

Next month’s meeting will be attended by politicians and council representatives from both Scottish Borders Council and Carlisle City Council.

It comes in conjunction with a motion submitted by Mr Paterson to next week’s meeting of Scottish Borders Council calling on the authority to “reaffirm its commitment to supporting the extension of the Borders Railway from Tweedbank to Hawick and then on to Carlisle via Newcastleton”.

The move comes as a 12-week consultation period on extending the rail link ends.

Mr Paterson believes that the two councils will have a stronger voice if they join forces.

He said: “Our MP, John Lamont, and two MSPs have said that they would be there, and I have invited the council’s transport portfolio holder along, but he has another meeting at the same time which he is unable to get out of.

“I have invited list MSP Michelle Ballantyne along as well, but she is also at another meeting which she is unable to get out of.

“I have also invited the other councillors from the Hawick and Hermitage ward, alongside the chief executive and the leader of Carlisle City Council.

“I had a nice chat with chief executive Jason Gooding last week, and he said that I could well get support from some members of the council, so I have sent them my notice of motion as well, hoping that Carlisle City Council will support the extension of the Borders Railway so that Hawick, Newcastleton and Carlisle will be able to share in the economic benefits that are sure to continue with the possible extension of the railway.”

Despite widespread opposition, the Waverley Route connecting Edinburgh to Carlisle via the Borders carried its final passengers in January 1969.

The route’s partial replacement, the £350m Borders Railway, stretching 30 miles from the Scottish capital to Tweedbank, opened in 2015, and there are now calls for the line to be continued 60 miles further south west to Carlisle, reinstating the original route, with Scottish Government ministers having pledged to look into the feasibility of such an extension.