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Borders Railway: Over 125,000 journeys in first month

The Borders Railway re-opened in September Credit: ITV Border

Exactly one month since the line opened on Sunday 6 September, more than 125,000 passenger journeys have been made on the Borders Railway.

Public interest in the new line soared following almost a week of celebrations which came to an end at the official opening by Her Majesty The Queen on Wednesday 9 September.

As demand to travel is so high, ScotRail has added additional carriages to busy trains.

The 125,971 total passenger journeys have included students, commuters, tourists and eager rail enthusiasts.

Over 125,000 passenger journeys have been made in the first month alone. Credit: ITV Border

As well as this figure, 17 sold out steam trains will have run on the line before mid-October, carrying around 6,200 passengers on special return journeys from Edinburgh to Tweedbank.

Phil Verster, managing director of the ScotRail Alliance, said:

The incredible interest in the Borders Railway over the first few weeks highlights what a remarkable achievement has been made by the opening of the new line.

By helping to create new opportunities for the people of the Scottish Borders, Midlothian and Edinburgh, this line better connects the regions and benefits both the local people and the local economy.

There is a great future ahead for Scotland’s railways, and the Borders Railway is an exciting part of that.”

– Phil Verster, ScotRail Alliance
Borders Railway re-opened in September Credit: ITV Border

Minister for Transport and Islands, Derek Mackay, said:

The historic reopening of the Borders Railway has clearly captured people’s interest and I am delighted to see the soaraway success of services and impressive passenger numbers.

It is particularly good to see the Borders and Midlothian reap the benefits of being reconnected to Scotland’s rail network after an absence of almost half a century.

Alongside delivering greater connectivity through landmark projects such as the Borders Railway, the Scottish Government is committed to a record £5 billion investment in our railways to improve rolling stock, rail infrastructure, as well as recruiting 100 new train drivers, all of which will ensure that Scotland’s rail network remains among the best in the UK.”

– Derek Mackay, Minister for Transport and Islands

Councillor David Parker, Leader of Scottish Borders Council, added:

I was always confident that the Borders Railway would be a success, but even a passionate railway supporter such as myself has been taken aback by the huge numbers who have embraced the new service.

We have not only had Borderers using the service for work and recreation but many people from the central belt have been jumping on board to visit our region. The knock-on effect has already been seen, with local businesses such as cafes and restaurants reporting extra trade.

The aim of the Borders Railway Blueprint programme is for the railway to stimulate growth in our businesses, investment into our region and to create new jobs - already we are starting to see signs of all three and it bodes very well for the future.”

– Councillor David Parker

Lorry fire melts section of Cumbrian road

Part of the road was melted. Credit: ITV Border

A section of road on the M6 in Cumbria has melted after a lorry fire.

Two northbound lanes of the motorway were closed earlier after the trailer of an articulated lorry caught fire between junctions 43, Scotby, and 44, Kingstown.

They have since re-opened but a section of the tarmac on the hard shoulder has been damaged by the blaze.

The driver of the lorry was not injured.


Roadworks in Cumbria

Highways England says the following roadworks will be in place in Cumbria next week:

M6 Junction 34 Lancaster

Work off the motorway on the Heysham Link project means the southbound exit slip road will be closed between 8pm on Friday (9 October) and 6am on Monday (12 October). A clearly-signed motorway diversion will be in place.

M6 Junction 38 Brough to Junction 39 Shap

Work to resurface sections of the southbound carriageway near Tebay Services started on 21 September. Contractors will also install new reflective road studs, replace road markings and carry out repairs to two bridges. Two lanes will be open to traffic during the day, between 6am and 8pm, and one lane overnight, between 8pm and 6am. The project is due to be completed by the end of October.

A595 (south of Workington)

Work to replace drainage and improve footpaths started on Monday 7 September between the junction with the A66 at Bridgefoot and further south at Winscales. The work is due to be completed by Friday 16 October. Work will be delivered using off-peak traffic signals between 9.30am and 3.30pm and again between 8pm and 6am each day.

A66 Appleby

A £1.76 million carriageway reconstruction project near Crackenthorpe began yesterday (1 October) and will last until Sunday 20 December. Temporary traffic lights will be in place from next week – manually controlled during the day – and a 40mph speed limit will also be in place past the road works.

Traffic delays expected in Dumfries

Roadworks at Three Road Ends in Dumfries Credit: ITV Border

Roadworks for a new traffic system at Three Road Ends in Dumfries is expected to cause major delays.

The work will start on Monday 12 October, lasting for three weeks through the school holidays.

The new traffic system is hoped to ease congestion and benefit drivers in the long term.

Whether you are driving to work, cycling to the university and college or taking the bus to a hospital appointment, please be understanding of the situation. Plan ahead and give yourself extra time to complete your journey. I am confident the new traffic signal equipment will ease congestion in the area long-term."

– Dumfries and Galloway Council


Council welcomes car smoking ban

The Public Health team at Cumbria County Council have welcomed a new law which bans people from smoking in cars in which children are present:

Their airways are less developed, they breathe more rapidly and obviously in a situation like a car they're in a very, very small enclosed space. We wouldn't allow it on public transport, why would we allow it in a car?"

– Paul Musgrave, Public Health Cumbria County Council

Man and two-year-old girl hospitalised after A66 crash

Part of the A66 was closed. Credit: ITV Border

A 22-year-old man and a two-year-old girl have been hospitalised after an accident on the A66 near Cockermouth.

The man, from Maryport, was driving a BMW, in which the girl was a passenger.

He was airlifted to hospital in Newcastle with life threatening injuries, and the girl was airlifted to hospital in Manchester where she is in a serious but stable condition.

The collision was between the BMW and a United Utilities tanker. The 60-year-old male driver of the tanker, from Gosforth, was unharmed.

The stretch of road between the Sheep and Wool Centre at Cockermouth, and the village of Dubwath next to Bassenthwaite, was closed at around 2:10pm, and remains shut.

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