Questions in Scotland

Following on from the news reports at the weekend that there was no business case for HS2 to be built to Scotland, the issue was raised in the Scottish Parliament on Tuesday.

Three major points came out:

  • Patrick McLoughlin has failed to meet the Keith Brown, Scottish Cabinet Secretary for Infrastructure, Investment and Cities, since McLoughlin’s appointment in 2012, in spite of a number of requests and letters.
  • The study on whether HS2 should be extended to Scotland has been with Westminster and Scottish ministers since December 2014, but has not led to any discussions about it: Keith Brown said to the Scottish Parliament

“The UK Government has been unambitious and disrespectful in respect of there having been a complete lack of dialogue, and leaking of its reports—the confidentiality of which it asked us to respect—on high-speed rail coming to Scotland.”

  • The Scottish Government have been in touch with leaders from Northern cities about high speed rail, and that

“some of the high-speed rail proposals are not actually about high-speed rail services—for example, the proposals for services traversing the north of England are for higher-speed rail rather than high-speed rail”

i.e. reusing and improving existing track as per the HS3 proposals rather than building new track like HS2.

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