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Call for EGIP cuts to be reversed

Campaigners are urging the Scottish Government to reverse a cut in funding for the Edinburgh Glasgow Improvement Programme (EGIP).

The original £1bn electrification and infrastructure project would have resulted in six trains an hour on the main line, as well as providing easy access to the airport via tram.

In July, the scheme was revised with £350m less investment. This means only four trains will be run per hour and trains will no longer use the Gateway station, making it more difficult to reach the airport.

The Scottish Chambers of Commerce and Transform Scotland have argued that the cut could put Scotland at a serious disadvantage by deterring investment.

In a briefing for MSPs, they said: “Scotland’s cities are recognised as key drivers of the Scottish economy and for the country and its regions to thrive and prosper in the 21st century a modern public transport system is essential.

“Apparent re-prioritisation and delay of many rail enhancements risks puts Scotland at a serious disadvantage to its competitors. Inward investors may well be deterred if they see the Government retreating from this promised investment.

“In marked contrast, the Westminster Government, following Scotland’s previous lead has just announced a huge raft of new rail investment across England and Wales. The message to the outside world could not be more clear.”

The Government said EGIP had always been intended to be built in stages.

Tell us what you think – have your say below, or email us directly at [email protected]


Ricp   24/09/2012 at 12:58

EGIP was a bold initiative to electrify the main routes across the 'Scottish Midland Valley' as I was taught for O level in the 60s. I saw the excellent Glasgow Blue Trains, brilliantly marketed, but their flair was diluted as services were pruned, the Caledonian Blue was replaced by drab rail blue and in time lost its identity until Strathclyde adopted it's red and cream colours, another style being abandoned. But the new St Andrew's Blue 'Saltire' styling is being applied across the system, to be accompanied by a new generation of electric trains, a super new improved railway. BUT, a big BUT, this is all expensive, so let's see what we can cut? Not a good idea - phase yes; cut no! 1 A to B is finished and there is a new service linking what were coal mining communities 50 years ago, lots of clunky old chuffers pulling rusty coal wagons around Bathgate, with Austin Leyland vans being the new growth industry. How long did that factory last? The restored link with modern electric trains every 15 or 30 minutes is a major boost to economic growth in the communities the line serves. Airdrie has a link to the East. 2. Queen St to Waverley via Falkirk High. The obvious fast route, but why have the proponents said all trains must go via High, when traditionally trains alternated via the two Falkirk stations, every 30 minutes. This is an acceptable frequency. So Plan B is wire via Falkirk High, and then wire up the loop to Grahamston. 3. Sort out the links from Glasgow and Springburn to Cumbernauld and Falkirk. The benefits of this scheme is that it completes an electrified route from Falkirk to Motherwell, and so the Grangemouth freight link could be included. 4. Holytown to Midcalder Jct. Where? I hear you say! This completes the third route from Glasgow to Edinburgh via Shotts, where a mix of fast and stopping trains would complement the Airdrie - Bathgate Route. 5. Lastly work north from Falkirk to Stirling and Dunblane, and finally to Alloa. If these schemes were done, one after the other, the schemes become affordable and deliverable, and boosts mobility and so economic activity.

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