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CP6 cash settlement leaves Scotland £600m short

The Scottish transport minister has accused the UK Treasury of falling £600m short in rail improvement funding after yesterday’s CP6 cash announcement.

Scotland is to receive more than £3.6bn for the control period between 2019 and 2024, allocated for repairs and improvements to track, signalling and stations. But its transport minister Humza Yousaf argued the country needs at least £4.2bn.

The UK Government claimed that the money may be topped up by additional cash coming to Scotland as a result of HS2 and described the initial sum as a “generous statement” – yet Yousaf called the settlement a “complete sham.”

“This £600m shortfall will do serious damage to Scotland’s railways and our future enhancement projects,” he explained. “The Scottish Government has taken a constructive approach, simply requesting the same funding we have received previously accounting for inflation.

“We want to continue to invest in improving our rail network and services to meet future demands, but the changes to be introduced by the UK Government are putting at risk our ability to do so in full and this will have a massive impact.”

The minister made the decision to postpone the announcement of Scottish rail funding for CP6, which was due to come today, and called on the Treasury to announce a “fair deal.”

“I will continue to press the UK Government for a fair deal for Scotland on funding for railway improvements,” added Yousaf.

On the other hand, Elizabeth Truss, chief secretary to the Treasury, said the allocated funds were a “prime example of how Scotland benefits from the UK’s broad shoulders.”

“Our record investment for railways across the UK means a settlement for Scotland that could improve the entire network,” she commented. “We are backing Scotland for its future success and it's now up to the Scottish government to ensure maximum benefit for the public.”

Although there has been no mention of the specific projects which could be affected, plans in the pipeline include new stations at East Linton and Reston on the East Coast Main Line south of Edinburgh and the reopening the Levenmouth Line in Fife.

Other works include upgrading a junction at Portobello and double-tracking a section at nearby Millerhill in Edinburgh.

Today’s controversy comes after transport secretary Chris Grayling announced that the government would be allotting £48bn to rail in CP6, although just £35bn will come from direct government grants while the rest is expected to come from other investments, such as property assets and TOC access charges.

(Top image c. Jane Barlow/PA Wire)

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Lutz   13/10/2017 at 16:18

Controversial wrt the excessive levels of subsidy that go to Scotland for dispersal on low-benefit projects at the expense of rail investment in the more need North of England and other UK regions.

Andrew Gwilt   13/10/2017 at 20:15

Nicola Sturgen won’t like this. She will not let that happen at all to Scotland’s railway infrastructure. And she probably would help out to maintain Scotland’s railways like she owns the railways in Scotland if she had the power to do that.

PP   16/10/2017 at 08:44

Just another opportunity for the SNP to blame someone else for Scotland's problems, like they always do.

Mark Hare   16/10/2017 at 11:19

Let them have their independence and then they can fund their own railway, see how they like that.

Jimbo   16/10/2017 at 14:55

It is not clear whether the £600m is short of what they had been previously promised, what they asked for or what they would like. If they were previously promised it, then it is not great, but if it is just that they want more, then tough - everyone wants more, but they have to make do with what they get.

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