South Scotland

Borders to Edinburgh rail line police team launched

Borders Railway Team
Image caption The transport minister met with members of the Borders railway team as it was officially launched

Transport Minister Keith Brown has officially launched a dedicated British Transport Police team to patrol the Borders to Edinburgh railway project.

It will work closely with Network Rail and main contractor, BAM Nuttall, to keep the 30 miles of new railway "free from disruption".

The team consists of an inspector, a sergeant and seven constables.

Insp Angela McGregor, who leads the team, said they were providing both security and crime prevention advice.

"At this early construction phase, the team is working with those within the footprint of the major project to explain the role of BTP," she said.

"Officers are engaging with residents, who have not had a working railway in their area for more than 40 years, to address any concerns they may have, make them aware of safety measures required as well as providing essential security and crime prevention advice."

The BTP team has a permanent base within the offices of the main contractor at Newtongrange and is regularly attending community events within the Midlothian and Borders areas.

Mr Brown said it was important people working, using and living near the line felt safe during construction and once the route was up and running.

'Social benefits'

"The new BTP team will offer a reassuring presence and provide residents and those working on the railway with expert advice and support," he said.

"By creating an attractive alternative we hope to cut car journeys on the region's roads by around 60,000 peak trips per year.

"I am looking forward to seeing the Borders railway taking shape with all the social, economic and environmental benefits it will bring for the area."

Ch Supt Ellie Bird, area commander for the Scotland area of BTP, said the establishment of the team was an "important development".

"The team will provide reassurance and essential advice, not only to those working on such a crucial project, but also to those who will be living and working in the areas of the seven purpose-built stations," she said.

"When the line between Edinburgh Waverley and Tweedbank is up and running the officers will also patrol trains and the new stations."

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