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HS2 to boost Scottish economy by £3bn

Scotland could receive a £3bn economic boost through HS2, by bringing it closer to England’s main cities, transport secretary Patrick McLoughlin is to say.

Speaking to business leaders in Glasgow today, the minister will explain how investment in the rail sector over the next five years, with projects like Northern Hub, will improve links between Glasgow and Manchester, in addition to running larger, more reliable trains on the East Coast mainline.

He is also expected to point out that, in the last year alone, the Scottish government has invested almost £600m in rail infrastructure. This includes the electrification of the Glasgow to Cumbernauld line and new stations at Haymarket and Dalmarnock.

McLoughlin will point out, though, that the biggest change, which will stimulate the largest amount of economic activity, will be the start of HS2 in three years – creating the ‘first north-south railway for a generation’.

“By cutting the journey times from Edinburgh and Glasgow to cities in England, HS2 will boost the Scottish economy by around £3bn,” McLoughlin will say. “Our objective is a national network that will bring the constituent parts of the UK closer together.”

However, earlier this year, Scottish first minister Alex Salmond criticised the current plans for high speed rail saying it lacks high ambition for Scotland and for the north of England.

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


Phil Norris   28/07/2014 at 09:48

This inevitably is going to be a highly political football, epecially if the September YES referendum vote comes about with the carrot and stick appoach arguments being bandied about post-referendum. Thus the referendum vote couldn't come at a worse time for the scope stability of this most important infrastructure mega-project that is so important to mainlandUK as a whole. In the report above, the old and not very effective passenger time savings is being trotted out again as a headline benefit. The cognoscenti in the Rail Industry know different. The real benefits are all about freeing up a really significant amount of train paths on our overloaded rail infrastructure in for all services; especially freight and local services, the poor relation of our present services. The future health of our Rail Industry depends on it along with the health of our nation(s) Politicos - Please note and inwardly digest!

Rodger Bradley   29/07/2014 at 11:01

I fully agree with Phil Norris' view previously - this is clearly an overtly political exercise. TV news media today have been carrying stories about the lack of a connection to Liverpool, so "...creating the ‘first north-south railway for a generation’." has something of a hollow ring to it.

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