Get Scotland on Fast Track
Business, transport and civic leaders are today launching their case to have high-speed rail extend beyond the north of England.
The Scottish Partnership Group for High Speed Rail, formed by Minister for Housing and Transport Keith Brown, has published a report detailing the benefits for business, communities and the environment.
And a survey carried out by the Group found that 72.5 per cent of Scottish businesses believe it would attract new investment here.
The Fast Track Scotland document also reports that the line would benefit Scotland to the tune of around £24.8 billion.
Launching the document, Mr Brown said:
"The argument for a high-speed rail network in the UK is strong. But it is stronger when Scotland is included. That is the clear message from this report and one which the Scottish Government fully backs.
"The Partnership Group speaks for communities and business across Scotland and it recognises how high-speed rail will stimulate our economy and encourage inward investment.
"As it would also reduce the need for domestic flights, the potential for environmental benefits is huge.
"This report sets out in very real terms just how beneficial it would be on so many fronts to have the high-speed rail network extend to Scotland."
The Partnership Group brought together Glasgow and Edinburgh city councils, Network Rail, Scottish Chambers of Commerce, Transport Scotland and a number of other bodies chosen to help represent the widest possible cross-section of Scottish civic and business life.
And it calls for the remit of the HS2 company, formed by the Department for Transport to provide detailed planning for the proposed line, to be extended to consider detailed planning for Scotland.
The report concludes:
'It is imperative that high-speed rail is developed in the UK. It is also imperative that Scotland is included if the UK is to see the full benefits of its contribution to the economy.'
The Scottish Partnership Group consists of:
- CBI Scotland
- City of Edinburgh Council
- Convention of Scottish Local Authorities
- Glasgow City Council
- Glasgow Edinburgh Collaboration Initiative
- Nestran (North East Scotland Transport Partnership)
- Network Rail
- Scottish Chambers of Commerce
- Scottish Council for Development and Industry
- Scottish Enterprise
- Scottish Futures Trust
- Scottish Trades Union Congress
- SESTran (South East Scotland Transport Partnership)
- SPT (Strathclyde Partnership for Transport)
- Transform Scotland
- Transport Scotland
A total of 40 businesses were surveyed by the Scottish Council for Development and Industry.
Among those which undertook the survey and expressed support for high speed rail which includes Glasgow and Edinburgh were BT, Biggart Baillie, World Club HQ, Gillespie Mcandrew, Jones Lang Lasalle, Oracle, Brodies, First Group and Turcan Connell.