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[ 16-11-2009 ]

Chambers of Commerce throughout the United Kingdom have today united to publish an in-depth report calling for a long-term cross-party commitment to the creation of a comprehensive British High Speed Rail network.  Scottish Chambers of Commerce, who have long argued for the need to link Scotland into a UK High Speed Rail system from the outset, played a key role in preparing the report and have welcomed its timely publication.  Liz Cameron, Chief Executive of Scottish Chambers of Commerce, said:

“Businesses in Scotland know that one of the keys to ensuring future economic growth and providing new jobs is for our country to develop its transport infrastructure.  Many of our competitor nations across Europe are already well ahead of us in developing their High Speed Rail networks, while even the United States is now recognising that a 21st century economy requires high quality public transport links.
“This latest report from the Chamber of Commerce network underlines the fact that businesses across Britain are looking for the politicians to set aside their differences and commit to a long term strategy to bring the UK’s public transport infrastructure up to speed.  Transport projects of this scale do not sit easily within the context of four and five year parliamentary terms.  Planning and implementation will take many years and span many Governments, and we must begin to plan now to ensure that Scottish businesses benefit from this project as soon as possible.
“The UK High Speed Rail network can become one of the iconic projects of this century and will cement not only Scotland’s links with London, but also with the other English city regions and onwards to Europe.  The benefits far outweigh the costs and we are looking for our politicians to mark this project out as a long term commitment that transcends party politics.”