Rail row: MSP accuses council leader of having 'flippant attitude' towards cost of Borders Railway project

Published: 30 Oct 2012 14:308 comments

A LOCAL MSP has raised concerns in the Scottish Parliament with regards to the amount of money being spent on the rail link to Tweedbank.

MSP John Lamont.

JOHN Lamont has raised concerns in the Scottish Parliament with regards to the amount of money being spent on the rail link to Tweedbank.

It comes after sources close to the project were reported as saying that it is now anticipated to cost £350million, which is £50million more than first anticipated.

Leader of the Scottish Borders Council, David Parker, was then also quoted as saying, "I am not too concerned if it exceeds its budget".

Mr Lamont said: "The concerns surrounding the Galashiels rail link are continuing to grow. The latest reports state that not only will the project be delayed significantly, it will also be massively over budget. Residents in the Borders are rightly starting to ask questions about it.

"When it is taxpayers' money that is being spent it is always important that we do everything we can to ensure that it is spent in the most efficient way possible. I was therefore shocked to hear the comments from Councillor David Parker that he did not care if the project continued to run over budget.

"It is an insensitive and flippant attitude to have towards other people's money, and shows that he has no care for the finances being sunk into funding the railway. With £54million having been already spent without a single piece of track being laid, many people will rightly be worried about how much more of their money will be wasted."

Mr Lamont added: "This overspend is money that could be spent on improving our transport infrastructure throughout the Borders. Our road and bus network are crying out for investment yet this rail link is taking up all the money that could be used for it.

"When so many in the Borders rely on our roads every day, I am sure that the majority of Borderers will be asking how much more taxpayers' money this project will need to get it completed."

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