Sturgeon signals rail extension

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SNP leader Nicola Sturgeon delivers her keynote speech at the annual SNP Spring conference at the SECC in Glasgow, Scotland. 12 March 2016. Picture by JANE BARLOW
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janebarlowphotography@gmail.com
m: 07870 152324

***JP 60-day licence*** SNP leader Nicola Sturgeon delivers her keynote speech at the annual SNP Spring conference at the SECC in Glasgow, Scotland. 12 March 2016. Picture by JANE BARLOW � Jane Barlow 2016 {all rights reserved} janebarlowphotography@gmail.com m: 07870 152324

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The Borders Railway has become an intense topic of debate in the run-up to May’s Scottish Election.

Reports indicate that First Minister Nicola Sturgeon intends to announce a feasibility study into the extension of the Borders rail link to Hawick today (Thursday, March 31).

Jim Hume, Ettrick, Roxburgh and Berwickshire Liberal Democrat candidate, said: “Liberal Democrats have always said that the line to Tweedbank should be seen as the start of a more ambitious vision of getting the line to Hawick and then eventually on to Carlisle, ensuring that more of our Borders communities can reap the economic benefits.

“Liberal Democrats paved the way for the line to Tweedbank through the 2006 legislation that was passed when we were in coalition in Holyrood.

“What’s key is that any feasibility study gets underway in cooperation with stakeholders as soon as possible so that we can build on the success of the line to Tweedbank.”

Network Rail was this week provided with a wish list of improvements Scottish Borders Council wants to see implemented on the Railway.

Inadequate parking, the lack of passenger facilities at stations and the unreliability of the service were highlighted in a formal response to Network Rail which is consulting on its investment plans for the Scottish rail network between 2019 and 2029.