Council makes case for Borders Railway improvements

Network Rail has been provided with a wish list of improvements which Scottish Borders Council wants to see implemented on the Borders Railway.

Tuesday, 29th March 2016, 4:56 pm
Updated Wednesday, 30th March 2016, 8:03 am
Saturday 5th of September 2015. Borders Railway Golden Ticket Holders get to ride on the new rail line the day before the first fare paying passengers.

Inadequate parking, the lack of passenger facilities at stations and the unreliability of the service have all been 
highlighted in a submission to the state-owned owners of Britain’s railway infrastructure.

The issues were highlighted last week when Scottish Borders Council’s executive agreed a formal response to Network Rail which is consulting on its investment plans for the Scottish rail network between 2019 and 2029.

“Service resilience has been a key concern during the first few months of operation and SBC would like Network Rail to consider the provision of further dynamic passing loops on the line to help provide enhanced reliability and functionality between Edinburgh Waverley and Tweedbank,” states the submission from Scottish Borders Council.

“The further development of the Borders Railway is potentially constrained by the current level of car parking at Tweedbank and, to a lesser extent, at Stow.”

The submission continued: “At Tweedbank, the [station] car park appears to be full on a regular basis and overflow car parking has been provided by Scottish Borders Council on an adjacent industrial estate.”

This is not deemed suitable in the future.

“A longer term solution in relation to parking – and a continued review of station facilities for customers at all the stations on the line – will be required to encourage further patronage for the route.

“The existing wifi provision on the line is currently intermittent and does not fully encourage mobile working. SBC would encourage Network Rail, Transport Scotland and Scotrail to work together to resolve this important issue.

“The tourist market is very important to the Borders and every opportunity should be exploited, such as the continued delivery of the steam train experience, enhanced on-carriage bicycle provision and co-operation on specific event provision.”