Work on the new Borders Railway is continuing into the Galashiels and Tweedbank area resulting in a series of closures in the coming week.

Permanent pedestrian and traffic changes will take place at Plumtreehall Brae and the Black Path, the move is designed to improve services between the Scottish Borders and the capital Edinburgh. Closures of both routes will come into force today (July 15th) with Plumtreehall Brae restricting all through traffic while there will only be limited access to residents and pedestrians. The Black Path is also closing for pedestrians.

The Borders Railway has been the culmination of years of campaigning which, in 2006, resulted in the Scottish parliament passing the Waverley Railway (Scotland) Act. This called for the partial restoration of the route connecting the south of country with Edinburgh. Four new stations are set to be constructed in Midlothian while a further three will be created in the Scottish Borders region.

Officials behind the project explained that once complete, trains will run every half hour between Tweedbank and Edinburgh with journey times being reduced to under one hour. As the construction phase gets underway today at Plumtreehall Brae and the Black Lane it marks the beginning of a two-year initiative which is expected to be finished in summer 2015. It will add 30 miles of new track and expected to cost £294 million during the building phase.

Plumtreehall Brae will see a bridge demolished as it is not in the right location for the new railway and will be replaced with a footbridge. The Black Path in Galashiels will be subject to major excavation work making way for the new line.

Hugh Wark, Network Rail project director for the Borders Railway project, said: "The Borders Railway construction programme has now reached Galashiels and Tweedbank and these closures provide us with the required accesses to allow us to help make the railway a reality. We thank residents and the local community for their continued patience while these works get underway."

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