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SCOTLAND MUST NOT BE LEFT OUT OF HIGH SPEED RAIL REVOLUTION

[ 17-03-2011 ]

Commenting on the visit to Glasgow by UK Transport Minister, Norman Baker MP, as part of the ongoing consultation on the Government’s plans for a UK High Speed Rail (HSR) network, Liz Cameron, Chief Executive of Scottish Chambers of Commerce, said:
 
“Scottish business is fully supportive of the need to create a UK wide High Speed Rail network.  We believe that this has the potential to be the transport infrastructure revolution for this century that our motorway network was in the 20th century and that our conventional railways were in the 19th.
 
“We also welcome the Government’s ongoing support for this initiative and the fact that they have visited Scotland as part of the vital consultation process that is going on right now.  However we are underlining to Government that we believe more needs to be done to bring Scotland into the HSR network at an early stage if we are to derive real benefit from this visionary scheme.
 
“As plans stand at the moment, even by 2033 it will still be quicker to travel from the centre of Edinburgh to the centre of London by air than it would be by High Speed Rail.  This would be unlikely to assist passengers in making the shift from air to rail and could leave Scotland’s cities far behind the English regions in terms of better connectivity with the Capital.  If we are to see a real return from our investment for Scotland within our lifetimes, we must make our voices heard as a nation at an early stage in this debate.
 
“High Speed Rail must be a legacy investment for the whole of the United Kingdom, not just the South East and Midlands, and Scottish businesses will be redoubling our efforts to ensure that Scotland reaps the economic benefits of this transport revolution.” 

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