The opening of the new Borders Railway is great news and will provide a vital transport link for the Borders with the rest of Scotland.
These are the first trains running to the borders for over 40 years. It’s a historic moment for the South of Scotland.
What’s more, the railway will be a boost for our economy, creating 36 jobs in the area. Everyone living along the length of the line will feel the benefits of this service.
It was the last Labour-led Scottish Government which laid the foundations for the Borders Railway.
Sarah Boyack MSP, who was the first Transport Minister in the Scottish Executive, kept the Borders Railway on the list of railway projects, along with the successfully delivered Larkhall to Milngavie, Stirling to Alloa and Airdrie to Bathgate lines.
That’s because in Labour we recognise the benefits of better public transport. Benefits to our economy, to our environment and most importantly of all to our people.
It was the last Labour-led government which passed the Waverley Railway (Scotland) Act 2006.
This legislation paved the way for the construction of the Borders Railway.
So Labour welcomes the opening today, proud in the knowledge that we laid the foundations in government.
It also shows that the big moments for Scotland don’t happen overnight, and shows how important long term planning in government is. We are moving towards a greener economy because of legislation passed nearly a decade ago.
Our vision for the next step in Scotland’s railways is a People’s ScotRail, where trains are are run for the public, rather than for profit.