As a long-time campaigner for the return of rail to the Borders, I’m continually surprised and baffled by the anti-Borders railway letters in your paper; by the incongruous position of John Lamont MSP, alone among Borders national politicians; by the local jealousies and rivalries on which he irresponsibly plays (“The Galashiels Railway”) at the cost of many of his own constituents; and by the attitudes of a minority of Reston station campaigners.
I come from North-east Scotland originally, and we’d find it strange and alien that different towns do each other down, or refuse to support a facility in one place just because it’s not in another.
No wonder the Borders has taken such severe hits over the years if people can be played off so easily against each other.
How obvious is it that if the railway doesn’t get to Galashiels first, it’ll never get to Hawick? Or that people leaving the Borders railway will be able to get improved bus services to St Boswells, Melrose, Selkirk, Earlston, Lauder etc?
The opposition is bizarre because I can’t think of a railway in all Scotland more needed nor deserved – a modest part of the main line to Carlisle, Dr Beeching’s greatest closure. Bizarre because it’s only been inaugurated at all through 40 years of hard campaigning by Borders communities and politicians – and now some don’t want it? What sense does that make?
Bizarre that anyone would assume being pro-Reston or pro-East Linton means being anti-Borders railway, whose own campaigners all support the station reopenings, as supporters of rail transport.
This railway is coming. I don’t understand why newspapers print this minority sniping when what they should have been investigating is what objectors’ interest (commercial and otherwise) is in opposing this obvious improvement to a third-rate transport network.
Nor why a public starved of decent transport for decades should want to do themselves and their area down by even listening to them.
Comely Bank Road