Transform Scotland - For Sustainable Transport

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4 July 2012

Scottish Government EGIP announcement

Cuts to key Scottish rail project a major step backwards


Transform Scotland [1], the sustainable transport alliance, today (Wednesday 4) criticised the Scottish Government for delaying key elements of Scotland's flagship rail investment scheme, the Edinburgh-Glasgow Improvement Programme (EGIP).

Transform Scotland director Colin Howden said:

"Today's announcement is merely a restatement of promises that the Scottish Government has already made.

"What the Government is actually announcing today is cuts to the Scotland's flagship rail project. Instead of the previously-promised six trains per hour, we're now only going to get four trains per hour. Furthermore, electrification will no longer reach Dunblane and Alloa. If completing these further phases is dependent on a new high-speed line reaching Scotland then the Government is simply kicking these previously-promised investments into the long grass. [2]

"The reference to affordability issues is a complete red herring. Only last week the Scottish Government announced that it was planning to bring forward spending on the proposed multi-billion pound widening of the A9. Today's announcement is further evidence of the Government's continued shift away from promoting public transport use, and towards subsidising road use."

On a positive note, Colin Howden said:

"The announcement does at least make reference to 'new' electric trains for the Edinburgh-Glasgow line. It is imperative that the Government be held to this commitment, and we are not instead saddled with clapped-out second-hand trains from England."

ENDS

Notes to Editors

[1] Transform Scotland is the national sustainable transport alliance, bringing together rail, bus and shipping operators, local authorities, national environment and conservation groups, businesses and local transport groups - see <http://www.transformscotland.org.uk/members.aspx> for details.

[2] See note 4 of the Government's news release: "Further elements of EGIP including the electrification of Dunblane/Alloa services, Glasgow connectivity with Edinburgh Gateway station and the proposal for six trains per hour on the route via Falkirk, could be delivered in future phases. The timing and specification of future phases will be dependent on other considerations including High Speed Rail, and opportunities that present to connect Edinburgh and Glasgow, and wider capacity and affordability issues."

END OF NEWS RELEASE