The Scottish government has called for a firm schedule of when the UK’s high speed rail network will be extended into the country. The call comes following the earlier confirmation that the line will extend into the north of England by the 2030s.
With plans already well under way for the development of Scotland’s own high speed line between Edinburgh and Glasgow by 2024, the Scottish Transport Minister Keith Brown said:
“The full benefits of this project can only be realised if Scotland is involved and it looks like Westminster has finally taken note.”
Brown said that he had received assurances the extension would cross the border. However, Glasgow City Council is urging the scheme to start in London and Scotland simultaneously, to eventually join up in central England.
With many businesses seeing the train as a more environmentally friendly option to flying, a high speed network across Britain and on in to Europe could be essential for the future face of commerce.
Securing investment could also be helped by such connectivity, with a good transport infrastructure often key to securing good commercial finance in Scotland.
Whilst there is a great deal of criticism for the £32billion rail scheme in much of England, in Scotland there is a good deal of support for it. Such sentiment could promote a faster clarification of the plans for the network north of the border.
So far, plans have been outlined for phase one of the scheme, linking London and Birmingham and phase two, seeing a Y-shaped branch terminating in Manchester and Leeds, which will also serve the East Midlands.