Region’s roads and rail network options

Benefits of iImproved bus links, particularly to Borders General Hospital needs will be assessed
Benefits of iImproved bus links, particularly to Borders General Hospital needs will be assessed

Improving rail and road infrastructure in the Borders will form part of Transport Scotland’s review of strategic connections across Scotland

A Borders Transport Corridor report, published this week, recognises the need to assess the potential benefits of dualling the A1 between Dunbar and the border, improvements to the A7 and A68 and proposals for extending the Borders railway both south to Carlisle and east to Berwick.

Transport Secretary, Michael Matheson said: “The Borders Transport Corridors Study fulfils our commitment to consider the future transport needs of the area.

“We have already committed to rail stations at East Linton and Reston and these will be delivered as part of work to improve capacity to Edinburgh. We will now go on to consider a further 21 options as part of the Strategic Transport Projects Review (STPR2).

“The Projects Review is a nationwide appraisal to identify where improvements are needed and guide investment in Scotland’s transport infrastructure over the next two decades. The recommendations made in this study will help ensure the case is made for improvements in the Borders.”

Following the review of the region’s transport network 21 recommendations have been made that could shape the future of transport: eight refer to roads: seven to public transport; two to accessibility; two to freight transport; one to active travel; and one to park and ride. They will now be part of a nationwide transport review and will compete with recommendations from other areas for any funding available.

Two of the roads recommendations are the dualling of the A1 and safety measures such as speed cameras, climbing lanes and junction improvements. The report also highlights the need for safety measures on the secondary road network and better services areas for HGV rest stops, electric vehicle charing points, tourist facilities and coach layover.

Improved bus services to Borders General Hospital and other health facilities are also needed as are better east west bus connections.