Scottish Liberal Democrats have welcomed confirmation from Alex Salmond that the Borders rail project will finally be opened, nine years after it was secured by Scottish Liberal Democrats in government.
The welcome news comes after Alex Salmond confirmed that the rail link would be in action in September 2015.
Scottish Liberal Democrat South of Scotland MSP Jim Hume is also calling on the SNP to commit to extending the line to Hawick.
Commenting, Mr Hume said:
“Nine years after the Borders railway was secured by Scottish Liberal Democrats in government, people across the Borders simply want to see the trains on the track. Alex Salmond told the Scottish Parliament three years ago that it would be delivered by 2014. Today Alex Salmond has confirmed that the project will be delivered almost a year later.
“Alex Salmond might not want to pop open the champagne, as after years of spin about the actual opening date he may find it has gone flat. Scottish Liberal Democrats look forward to the Borders rail link being opened once and for all. The sooner it is up and running, the sooner businesses, commuters and the local economy reap the economic benefits of a connected rail system.
“In April the First Minister said that the Borders Rail link would serve as a catalyst for the restoration of the rest of this historic route through to Carlisle. Now is the time for Alex Salmond to put his money where his mouth is and commit to a feasibility study so that Hawick and the surrounding communities across the Borders can reap the benefits an extension could bring.”