Citizens panel talks trains

A learning disability forum has been discussing the impact the new Borders railway project is having on the lives of its members.

This is both in terms of the construction phase and how they might access the trains once the service is up and running.

The Galashiels and Selkirk Local Citizens Panel invited officers from Scottish Borders Council and the principal contractor, BAM, to its April meeting to answer questions they had about the development.

Panel Chair, Tracy Erskine from Galashiels, explained: “At our meeting in January we spoke about the problems some of us were having because of all the changes happening in Galashiels because of the new railway.

“The bus station is in a different place which means that sometimes people don’t know where to catch their bus.

“We also wanted to know more about the changes that are being made to the roads and paths in the town and also about how accessible the trains will be for people in wheelchairs.”

The group were given a presentation that outlined the full scale of the works taking place in and around Galashiels.

It was also explained to them that all stations and car parks relating to the railway will comply with modern accessibility legislation.

A discussion was held about the rail travel assistance scheme and concessionary travel for disabled people.

The panel is one of five that exist across the Borders to give people with a learning disability and their family carers a greater say in the planning and delivery of services.

Based in Galashiels, Berwickshire, Hawick, Kelso and Peebles each Panel meets four times a year in January, April, August and November.