South Scotland

Borders Railway repayment cost cut considered

Train Image copyright Dougie Johnston

Scottish Borders Council is considering a move to cut the overall cost of its contribution to the Borders Railway.

It currently has an outstanding balance of £7.7m to pay between now and 2045 - 30 years after the first trains ran between Tweedbank and Edinburgh.

However, it is now being proposed that it borrows money immediately to pay that sum in full.

A report to the local authority has suggested that could save about £4.3m in the long-term.

The development of the Borders Railway saw SBC agree with Transport Scotland to pay £15.3m towards the costs at 2012 prices.

That was reduced by £6.8m due to costs already incurred by the local authority, leaving a balance of £8.4m to be paid over 30 years.

The figure currently stands at £7.7m but it is subject to retail price index (RPI) inflation.

It is being suggested the council take advantage of the low cost of borrowing to pay off that debt.

Over the next 29 years that would reduce costs by about £4.3m compared with the present deal.

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