Consideration to Extend Borders Railway

Extending the Borders Railway will be one of the options considered by a new study looking at improving transport provision in the south of Scotland across all models including road, rail and public transport. 

Transport Scotland today announced the intention to award the contract to Jacobs UK Ltd. Subject to completion of the mandatory standstill period, the study will start later this month and is expected to take around seven months to complete. 

The findings will help inform the forthcoming refresh of the Scottish Government's Strategic Transport Projects Review (STRP) which will look at future transport proposals for the whole of Scotland, including the Scottish Borders. 

Transport Minister Humza Yousaf said: "In the Scottish Government's Programme for Government, a commitment was given to examine the case for an extension of the Borders Railway along with improvements to the A1, A7 and A68. 

This study will take forward that commitment by considering how we improve accessibility in the Borders, link communities to key markets through strategic transport routes and identify where improvements to transport links are required. 

We want to build on the existing Borders Railway by considering whether it should be extended to Carlisle. The study will also look at how we improve access from the Scottish Borders to key markets in to Edinburgh, Carlisle and Newcastle. 

Working with partners in the Scottish Borders Council and SEStran, Transport Scotland will identify a range of options for improving transport that can be considered as part of the review of the Strategic Transport Projects Review which will look at future transport infrastructure projects for the whole of Scotland. The options could include new rail services, improvements to existing infrastructure and improved public transport provision."

Notes to editors

The Borders Transport Corridors - Pre-Appraisal Study will consider: 

  • access between the central Scottish Borders and its key markets of Central Scotland, North East England and North West England
  • Connectivity between the Scottish Borders and key city regions of Edinburgh, Newcastle and Carlisle, opportunities for improvement and associated benefits
  • Potential for improved transport links to act as an economic catalyst for development on these corridors; and
  • Potential for transport improvements to enhance accessibility and reduce social inclusion

The consultant will carry out the study over the next few months with the final report expected by the end of the year