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10 December 2009

Borders Railway tender process commences

The process of identifying the contractor who will build and maintain the new rail link to the Borders is now under way.

The notice for the construction has been submitted for publication in the Official Journal of European Union (OJEU) by Transport Scotland, the Scottish Government agency in charge of the scheme.

The milestone has been reached in a project which forms a key part of a programme of investment in Scotland’s road and rail networks which will help promote the Scottish Government’s objective of sustainable economic growth.

The Minister for Transport, Infrastructure and Climate Change, Stewart Stevenson said.

“The Scottish Government has made clear its commitment to this key part of our programme of investment - we are now delivering on that commitment.

“A fast, efficient rail link connecting communities from the Scottish Borders to Midlothian and Edinburgh will act as a catalyst for economic growth right across southern Scotland, supporting hundreds of jobs during its construction. And a new link will increase business development and housing opportunities, and help promote inward investment.

“I will be stating Scotland’s case on climate change at Copenhagen next week and a rail link through the Scottish Borders to Edinburgh will also help us meet our commitments to the environment. The link will contribute to Scotland’s reduction in carbon emissions whilst providing opportunities to make the switch from car to train. This will help tackle congestion along the A7 and A68, in turn reducing the number of road accidents on those routes.

“We’re determined to deliver this project for people throughout Midlothian and the Scottish Borders and I’m delighted that we’re on track to open up those regions to rail passengers again for the first time in over forty years.”

All the required land has been acquired to allow construction of the railway. Accelerated funding was made available last year to allow advanced works to be completed early to reduce the level of risk in the main works contract.

It is anticipated that the construction contract will be awarded in Autumn 2011.

Stewart Stevenson
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