HSR must include Scotland
Published by Anne Marie Hughes on Sat 09 Jun 12 @ 22:11
Glasgow Chamber of Commerce chief executive Stuart Patrick has welcomed the Government's move to give the go-ahead to phase one of the High Speed Rail project from London to Birmingham.
But he added that we now needed "a commitment that Scotland is definitely going to be included at some point".
Stuart Patrick said:
"It was important that the Government made this decision, recognising the benefits of HSR to the whole of the UK.
"We gave a positive response to the consultation, recognising that we had to get something started. However we will continue to argue that we need to see a commitment to Scotland.
"We would rather have started HSR from this end at the same time as from London with a meeting up halfway, and at the very least we now need a commitment that Scotland is definitely going to be included at some point.
"The completion of HSR from London to Birmingham, when added to the existing network north of Birmingham, will give us a reliable 4 hr London - Glasgow service. If it reached Manchester that would come down to 3 hr 30.
"But the real dealmaker is that if HSR came all the way to Scotland, that would be slashed to 2 hr 30 - a journey time that means you would only choose to fly if you had a timing issue that dictated your schedule. There would be a big modal shift to rail."
To view the UK Government's full High Speed Rail statement click here.