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[ 30-08-2010 ]

Business leaders met today at a Scottish Chambers of Commerce (SCC) board meeting held at the Marine Operatinons Centre in Aberdeen to highlight key issues for its members. 

Top of the agenda was the SCC campaign to ensure the through running  of trains from North of Edinburgh to London and centres in the North of England.  SCC Chairman Mike Salter has already written to Liberal Democrat MP Sir Robert Smith, who has agreed to set-up a meeting with Westminster Transport Secretary Philip Hammond.  

SCC are tackling the issue on behalf of several Chambers including Aberdeen and Grampian, Fife, Dundee and Angus, Perth, Moray and Inverness.  The issue was taken to the Secretary of State last week via British Chambers who are also making representations in respect to some Welsh routes.

Liz Cameron, SCC Chief Executive said: “The UK Government must recognise the East Coast Main Line route North of Edinburgh services a population 29.7% greater than the population of Edinburgh and Glasgow combined.  In addition, these areas are home to over a quarter (26.6%) of Scotland’s total population and almost one third (33.0%) of Scotland’s businesses.  The area contributes 46% of the total turnover of all Scottish businesses yet looks set to face the brunt of Government cut backs.  The crucial role played by these areas in supporting the wider Scottish and UK economy cannot go unnoticed and it is essential that direct links North of Edinburgh remain.” 

Bob Collier, CEO of Aberdeen & Grampian Chamber of Commerce said: “The Chamber Transport Campaign launched at last week’s business breakfast has already highlighted the poor rail services that the North-east gets.  We are right behind the SCC in defending our direct services.”

 Colin Parker, CEO of Aberdeen Harbour Board and AGCC Board Member said: “The Chamber campaign has highlighted just how important transport is to our region.  Businesses need to wake up to the threats to their connectitivity with their markets.”