Borders rail campaigners launch £10,000 fundraising drive

Rail campaigners have launched a fundraising drive in the hope of boosting the case for an extension of the Borders Railway from Tweedbank to Carlisle.

By Darin Hutson
Thursday, 12th September 2019, 8:39 am
Campaign for Borders Rail chairman Simon Walton at Stow railway station.
Campaign for Borders Rail chairman Simon Walton at Stow railway station.

They hope to raise £10,000 to help pay for their campaigning efforts at the same time as £10m is being spent on a feasibility study for such a cross-border link by the UK and Scottish governments.

That extra money, though only equivalent to 1% of the cost of the study, could make all the difference to getting the case across for a near-70-mile extension into England via Hawick, according to campaign chairman Simon Walton.

“The generosity and commitment of our membership continues to impress me,” he said. “They’ve consistently contributed to the running of the campaign, but the financial burden of engaging with governments and agencies up and down the country cannot be borne solely by those dedicated individuals.

“We have 10 times that number who informally support the campaign, so we’ve launched a wider fundraising initiative to let that wider body offer support.

“We are entirely voluntary, and we’re lobbying for the biggest development project in Britain without any paid officers. That’s not a boast – it’s a tribute to the commitment of the individuals involved with the campaign.

“After 20 years, they deserve a celebration, and not a penny raised will even go towards paying for so much as the cake.”