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Monday 12th November 2012 | 12:45
The SNP has welcomed news the Scottish Government is pressing ahead with plans for a sub-30 minute rail link between Glasgow and Edinburgh by 2024 – at least a full decade before the UK government might bring the HS2 project to Scotland.
This means Scotland could have 140mph trains even before the completion of the London-Birmingham HS2 line, which is due to open in 2026, given the green light by Westminster at the start of this year. Gordon MacDonald, SNP MSP for Edinburgh Pentlands and member of the Scottish Parliament’s Infrastructure and Investment Committee, said:
“This is fantastic news for commuters travelling between Edinburgh and Glasgow and fantastic news for Scotland as a whole, bringing Scotland’s transport connections into the twenty-first century.
“The Tory-led UK government wants to keep Scotland in the slow lane but this announcement from the SNP Government means we will have high speed rail even before the completion of the London-Birmingham HS2 line.
“Almost halving the journey time between Scotland’s two major cities will also benefit businesses, our jobs market and tourism.
“We are not waiting for Westminster to bring High Speed Rail to us but are still calling for the UK government to recognise the undeniable economic case to connect Scotland to the rest of the UK and the continent.
“The UK is already well behind the curve when it comes to High-Speed Rail but the SNP refuses to allow the lacklustre plans of the Westminster government to see Scotland fall further behind the rest of the world.
“This is an exciting time for Scotland’s transport network and I’m looking forward to seeing our vision become a reality over the next 12 years.”