Your stories: James Aitken
We spoke to James Aitken from the Borders Chambers of Commerce.
What is your role? and what does the Chamber do?
I am the Convenor of the local business organisation. We meet up to lobby for particular ideas, and to network. We have been actively campaigning to get our railway back.
Does the Chamber of Commerce welcome the new railway?
We believe it is absolutely crucial for the Borders and Midlothian.
Which sectors of the Borders economy will benefit from the new railway line?
Tourism would be top of the list. Also, think of the benefits to sport, particularly the Melrose 7s.
Which towns and villages will benefit the most from the new railway?
I suspect that the change to house prices will be the big difference in Midlothan. People could start to commute regularly into Edinburgh from Stow. I’m sure it will be good for tourism in Melrose too.
Will there be wider benefits to society in the Borders?
Absolutely. A lot of people don’t go to the Borders because you have to drive. Nobody wants to travel by car all the time. It’s also about being linked back into Scotland properly.
What are the downsides to the railway?
There is no downside. Absolutely not. Some people argue about costs, but the advantages far outweigh that.