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16.10.17

Yousaf urges DfT to begin urgent and serious talks on ‘unfair’ CP6 deal

The DfT has defended its CP6 allocation to Scotland’s railways, arguing that the country will receive £600m more than it did in the previous control period – but the Scottish transport minister is adamant that the deal falls short of expectations.

In a statement, the DfT claimed that Scotland will receive more than £3.6bn over the five years of CP6, which also comes matched with “greater control” over its funding decision-making.

“So it can choose how best to use this money to improve the reliability of services for passengers, fund upgrades and invest in faster and more comfortable trains,” the department argued.

“This new funding settlement is on top of the significant additional Barnett funding the Scottish Government now receives to spend on its priorities, including transport.”

The statement was made shortly after Scottish transport minister Humza Yousaf claimed his country had been short-changed in Chris Grayling’s CP6 funding announcement on Friday last week, with the money actually falling £600m below the necessary amount.

Yousaf, who will write about Scottish rail in the upcoming October/November edition of RTM, reiterated his concerns over the Treasury’s approach to rail funding today.

He argued the funding change “moves away from the agreed devolved settlement (11.7%), which is based on the size of the Scottish rail network,” as confirmed by the ORR in 2005 and formally agreed between both governments at the time.

“My colleague, Derek Mackay, wrote to the chief secretary to the Treasury on 25 September with our reasonable ask on rail funding. The UK Government’s response was received after close of business the day before the Statement of Funds Available was due to be published,” Yousaf said. “This is no way to conduct business, and as a consequence the Scottish Government has had to seek an extension of the regulatory deadline for the Statement.

“The UK Government has departed from our agreed funding formula leaving Scotland’s railways £600m short. This will undoubtedly impact upon our ability to enhance Scotland’s rail network.

“It is of critical importance to Scotland’s communities and businesses that we secure a fair financial settlement, which enables the Scottish rail industry to plan for the future with certainty.”

The minister will write a letter to opposition parties across the chamber outlining his concerns about the process taken by the UK Treasury in the hopes that they back his calls for fairer funding.

“I would urge the UK government to begin serious and detailed dialogue with us on this issue as a matter of urgency,” he concluded.

Top Image: Jane Barlow, PA Wire

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Comments

Lutz   16/10/2017 at 20:18

A case of the Scottish Government trying to strong-arm Whitehall; Perhaps now they will engage with reducing operating costs.

Jimbo   17/10/2017 at 09:25

If the previously agreed settlement was 11.6% based on the size of the Scottish network, and the DfT has changed this settlement ratio without consultation, then the Scottish Government have a point. On the other hand, if they were given any advance notice this may happen, then they are just playing politics. If this is the case, I have nov sympathy.

Callando   19/10/2017 at 10:41

The 600 million has been kept back for exploration work for crossrail2. Yet more funding for the south East area.

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