© www.scotrail.co.uk The Borders Railway has been a big success in many ways. Obviously, it’s a popular new commuter line into Edinburgh but there’s more, much more and the question is should we be re-opening more lines given the evidence below: First, from Scottish Tourism Economic Assessment Monitor (STEAM) the statistics below reveal for 2016 as opposed to2015 before the line was open:
• The number of visitor days in hotels and bed and breakfasts has risen by 27 per cent
• A 20 per cent rise in visitor spend on food and drink
• Visitor spend on accommodation is up 17 per cent
• A 16 per cent rise in overall visitor spend
• The number of days visitors stayed in the Borders has increased by almost 11 per cent
• Eight per cent increase in employment related to tourism
• A 12.3 per cent rise in the number of visitor days in hotels and bed and breakfasts compared with first six months of 2015
• Visitor spend on food and drink in same period rose by 6.5 per cent
• Overall visitor spend was up 6.8 per cent
• The number of days visitors stayed in Midlothian increased by 7.2 per cent
• A 4.1 per cent improvement in employment related to tourism.
Quite impressive, I’d say
Second a new brewery has opened and the railway gets at least some of the credit:
‘The proud boast of Tempest Brewing is “designed and built in the Scottish borders” – and this small craft brewery has taken its own words to heart. It’s been able to expand in part because of where it is now based, close to the new Tweedbank railway station. Tempest, which tripled sales and began exporting in the year following its move in 2015, chose the new location as it is a few minutes’ walk from the station at the southern end of the Borders railway.’
So, if this has worked so well, shouldn’t we be opening other lines? What about re-opening the ‘Deeside’ from Aberdeen to Ballater? Surely that’d be a winner? Any suggestions readers?