High-speed rail could be coming to Scotland

June 28, 2009 at 2:19 pm Leave a comment

trains
by Amy Bourke

Transport Secretary Lord Adonis made a speech earlier this week underlining his support for high-speed rail, and at transport questions earlier this week minister Sadiq Khan revealed that the department for transport had been meeting with MSPs to discuss the potential benefits for Scotland.

He said: “We believe in investment, in these challenging times, but we also recognise the benefits of a proposed route that goes all the way to Scotland, rather than stopping in Manchester, as some people have proposed.”

The High Speed 2 Company was set up by the government to report on the business case for a high speed rail link to Birmingham and beyond. It will report to the Government by the end of the year.

Eric Martlew (Lab, Carlisle) was concerned about funding for the project, wondering whether it would be a Scottish or a UK responsibility.

Mr Khan said: “The department for transport is responsible for cross-border train services, and we work closely with the Welsh and Scottish executive. The important thing is to ensure that the quality of service that passengers receive is the right one.”

He also pledged to learn the lessons of “bad practice” so that passenger customer service would be “seamless.”

His remarks were welcomed by MPs. Gordon Banks (Lab, Orchil and South Perthshire) said that he believed the success of devolution would be dependent on cross-UK transport links.

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