A “POSITIVE” discussion took place at Westminster yesterday (Wednesday October 26) in response to a suggested bureaucratic blockage which was believed to be holding up the study on the extension of the Borders Railway.

As part of the £450 million package for the Borderlands area, £10 million was allocated by the UK and Scottish governments to proceed with ‘work to assess the benefits and challenges of extending the Edinburgh – Tweedbank Borders Railway to Carlisle’.

Borders MP John Lamont who is a long-term campaigner for the extension instigated the meeting with Secretary of State for Scotland, Alister Jack and Parliamentary Under Secretary of State for Scotland David Duguid.

Mr Jack, who was reappointed to his role by the new Prime Minister said that he is committed to the feasibility study as set out in the Borderlands Growth Deal signed last year.

He also told Mr Lamont that he will urgently speak with his colleagues in government to push the study forward.

Mr Lamont said: “I am continuing to apply pressure on both the UK and Scottish governments to get on with this work to extend the Borders Railway.

“This was a positive meeting with the Secretary of State where he reaffirmed his commitment to the Borderlands Growth Deal and £10 million package for the Borders Railway extension.

“He told me he will press this issue directly with the new Transport Secretary and hopefully get things moving as quickly as possible.

“It is important that we do not lose any more time with this. Communities along the railway line, like Hawick and Newcastleton need this important investment now.”