Back in 2012, Nicola Sturgeon announced plans to build a high speed rail link between Glasgow and Edinburgh. The railway was due to be completed by 2024, beating not just previous rail times, but the opening of HS2 in England.
The Scottish SNP government appear to have dropped these plans – and are blaming the delay on HS2.
Earlier in January, in answer to a written question from Tavish Scott, Lib Dem transport spokesperson in the Scottish Parliament, transport minister Derek Mackay said based on a joint study, received by ministers in 2014,
“… what high speed rail is built in Scotland depends on the high speed route coming up from the south. Therefore it is not possible to progress planning for a high speed rail link between Edinburgh and Glasgow any further until a cross-border high speed route is identified.”
Derek Mackay claimed in a later debate that the Scottish and UK governments were continuing to look into the possibility of such a rail link from the south.
However, reports last year were that an earlier unpublished version of the report said there was no business case for extending HS2 to Scotland.
All of this has led Tavish Scott to accuse the SNP of secrecy over high speed rail: “They could never tell us where the terminus was in either city or the route it would take. These plans have been kept secret. And now they have tried to keep their cancellation secret.”
what seems to be clear is that, just like Phase 2 decisions are continuing to be delayed and postponed, Scottish high speed decisions are also being delayed and postponed