Businesses benefiting despite rail problems

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The council has defended the new railway against attacks made on the service – mainly on social media.

A spokesperson for Scottish Borders Council has claimed the first four weeks of the Borders Railway have been hugely successful, despite teething troubles.

The Southern sought a view from the local authority over widespread social media criticism of the new service by passengers highlighting overcrowded carriages, delayed services and non-functioning ticket machines.

We were told: “Despite some initial operational issues in the first few weeks of the railway, which ScotRail dealt with quickly, these opening weeks have been hugely successful, with local businesses reporting increased trade, an increase in visitors numbers at local attractions and a rise in hotel bookings.

“Some businesses have even sought to take on additional staff to deal with the increase in trade.

“SBC worked closely with ScotRail in the lead up to, and during, the opening celebrations and continues to have dialogue with ScotRail to ensure that all rail users get the best possible service.”

Early criticism came almost as soon as the Tweedbank to Edinburgh Waverley service became operational on Sunday, September 6. ScotRail and the operators were attacked for failing to realise just how many people would want to make use of the service after an absence of 46 years.

Almost four weeks after opening, some passengers still face problems.