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[ 05-09-2011 ]

Scottish Chambers of Commerce (SCC) are today (Tuesday 6 September) appearing before the House of Commons Transport Select Committee alongside Scottish Transport Minister Keith Brown MSP to make the case for extending High Speed Rail (HSR) to Scotland.  With much of the HSR debate south of the border currently bogged down by local objections to the proposed route between London and Birmingham in the first phase of the development, SCC are leading the way in building the case for a strategic, UK-wide HSR network.
Garry Clark, Head of Policy and Public Affairs at Scottish Chambers of Commerce, who will be appearing before the Transport Committee, said:
"Scottish Chambers of Commerce are proud to be sitting alongside Transport Minister Keith Brown to present a Team Scotland approach to bringing High Speed Rail north of the border.  It is vital that politicians at Westminster understand the economic need for Scotland to be included in plans for a future UK HSR network and that they appreciate the strength of feeling that exists in Scotland's business community in favour of improving our transport connectivity in this way.
"It is more than two years since Scottish Chambers of Commerce published a report into the business case for including Scotland in a UK HSR network, and this was followed by a similar document from Transport Scotland.  We are currently leading further work alongside Transport Scotland to bring the economic case up to date and to ensure that Scotland does not lose out in the high speed transport revolution.
"The UK Government's current plans for High Speed Rail are a start but they are nowhere near ambitious enough.  The UK economy does not end at Manchester and Leeds and neither should High Speed Rail.  We need a truly UK-wide HSR network in order to maximise the economic and environmental benefits of a mode of transport which many of our competitor nations are already reaping the benefits of.  Our message to Westminster is clear - Scotland must be on the map when it comes to High Speed Rail."