BORDERS MSP Rachael Hamilton has met with Scottish Government Transport Minister Fiona Hyslop to discuss the Borders Railway extension and other transport options in the region.

At the meeting in the Scottish Parliament on Thursday, they discussed the benefits of the current line to Tweedbank and agreed on the socio-economic benefits to the Hawick and Newcastleton areas of extending the line.

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Ms Hamilton and the Transport Minister agreed that a constructive approach with the UK Government, Transport Scotland and Scottish Borders Council is vital so that future progress can be made on the project.

Ms Hyslop agreed to Ms Hamilton’s suggestion to have a meeting in Hawick with members of the Campaign for Borders Rail, Newcastleton Community Trust and other relevant stakeholders from the region in the spring.

Ms Hamilton, said: “Thank you to the Transport Minister for taking the time to discuss the next steps of the Borders Railway and my hope is that the feasibility study will conclude positively.

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“It was good to get the opportunity to speak with Ms Hyslop about the need to press the green light on key transport connectivity projects in the Borders.

“It is important to realise that there are many critical steps to take before this extension onto Hawick, Newcastleton and Carlisle happens, and I am glad that the Scottish Government is willing to collaborate with the UK Government on this issue which is important to so many in the Borders.

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"I was pleased that Ms Hyslop agreed to my request to meet with local campaigners in the Borders and hear why the extension must go ahead for the sake of local jobs, our economy, and our transport network.

“I will continue to urge the SNP Government to make investment in the Borders Railway one of their top priorities.”