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HIGH SPEED RAIL 'ASPIRATION' FOR SCOTLAND IS NOT ENOUGH, WARN CHAMBERS

[ 11-03-2010 ]

Commenting on today’s announcement from the Transport Secretary, Lord Adonis, that Scotland will not be a part of the initial core UK High Speed Rail (HSR) network, Liz Cameron, Chief Executive of Scottish Chambers of Commerce, said: 

 
“Scotland must be a part of our national High Speed Rail network from the outset, and this announcement does not go far enough for Scottish businesses.  Independent research has estimated the economic benefits of HSR to Scotland to be in excess of £7 billion, and there are significant environmental and productivity benefits to be gained from the modal shift from air to rail that such an investment would bring to Scotland.  Indeed the ratio of economic return is better for Scotland than for any other part of the rail network.
 
 
 
“We welcome the commitment to High Speed Rail of the UK Government, and, for that matter, the Scottish Government and the major opposition parties.  However the politicians need to take this much further if it is to become the visionary UK transport project for the 21st century that our economy needs in order to compete on a level playing field with trading partner nations, many of which currently have an advantage over us in this regard. 
 
“Scottish Chambers of Commerce have led the way in pressing the business case for bringing High Speed Rail to Scotland.  In the light of this latest Government announcement, we are redoubling our efforts to fight for Scotland’s place on the High Speed Rail map.”
 

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