During Parliamentary questions to the Scottish office earlier today Dr Neil Hudson, MP for Penrith and the Border, highlighted the benefits that the extension of the Borders Railway would bring to his constituency.
Dr Hudson asked:
“As a Borderlands MP, I am strongly supportive of the extension of the Borders Railway from Tweedbank, through Longtown in my constituency of Penrith and The Border and on to Carlisle. This would improve connectivity, benefit local communities and be a massive economic boost to our region.
But these proposals have been under consideration for a long time and it is vital that we now move forward with the project.
Does my Honourable Friend agree that it is essential that the UK and the Scottish Governments work together and with local authorities to prioritise the delivery of this project that would benefit local residents, businesses and strengthen our precious Union?”
The Minister, Iain Stewart MP, responded:
“I completely agree with my Honourable Friend that we do need to work together on this project which will be of benefit to his constituents and indeed the whole of the country. I do regret that the project has not had the priority we would like to see in the Scottish Government’s SDPR 2 but we will continue to work with the Scottish Government and see how we can best support it.
We’ve committed to the next stage of the project and we hope the Scottish Government do too.”
Speaking after the Commons session, Dr Hudson added:
“I was pleased that the Minister confirmed that they are working with the Scottish Government to accelerate the project. There was recognition that it has been stalling but we do need to improve rail links in my constituency.
As part of my ongoing ‘Better Connectivity’ campaign I have long called for improvements to the Borders Railway, alongside the reopening of Gisland station to improve connectivity in our region.”