Scotland urged to begin work for high-speed rail link

Concept image of high-speed train The HS2 rail link will feature trains that can travel up to 250mph

Related Stories

The Scottish government is being urged to begin preparatory work for a high-speed rail link.

The House of Commons transport committee has backed proposals for a high-speed line between London, the Midlands and eventually Scotland.

HS2 will feature 250mph trains running from London to Birmingham, with plans to extend it north.

The Scottish government has agreed to discuss the funding of the project to develop the route across the border.

The entire HS2 project is set to cost £32bn.

In addition to the connection between London and Birmingham, there are also plans for a Y-shaped extension to Manchester and Leeds, and possibly further north, to be completed about 2032/33.

In its report the transport committee said there was no reason the Scottish government should delay building a section of the track from Glasgow to the border, to connect with the English network in due course.

Start Quote

The best way to ensure it does go to Scotland is for the Scottish ministers themselves to do some work to ensure that that happens”

End Quote Louise Ellman House of Commons transport committee

The committee said the UK government should also consider building southwards and suggests the Scottish government could begin preparatory work on a high-speed line.

The Scottish government said it would discuss funding with Westminster and Transport Scotland said it was ready to start preparatory work.

It has asked for the remit of the UK government's high speed rail company, HS2 Limited, to be extended to include planning for routes to and within Scotland.

Faster links

Opponents said the report left HS2 "in tatters" because MPs said they could not be sure it would bring the economic benefits ministers predict.

The committee's support for the rail link, which aims to cut the London to Birmingham journey time to 49 minutes, came with a number of provisos.

The committee demanded that ministers "firmly commit" to extending the high-speed link to both Leeds and Manchester before seeking parliamentary approval for the London to Birmingham route.

The Labour chairwoman of the committee, Louise Ellman, said the scheme was affordable and would provide a "step change" in the quality and frequency of rail services between major cities.

She told BBC Radio Scotland's Good Morning Scotland programme: "The best way to ensure it does go to Scotland is for the Scottish ministers themselves to do some work to ensure that that happens.

"We see this as a line for the nation and we think it should not just stop at any one area, that it's important to have increased capacity and better connectivity right across the UK."

Scottish Transport Minister Keith Brown said it was important that the committee had backed the idea of the line extending to Scotland.

He said: "We have to first of all convince the UK government to make sure that the HS2 project team extends its remit to Scotland, because only at that point do you start to get real discussion about routes, technical specifications and planning specifications.

"It's at that point you get real engagement, but we have to get to that point first of all and that's what we're trying to do."

Mr Brown said he expected the UK transport secretary to confirm details of the next stage in the project in December.


More on This Story

Related Stories

The BBC is not responsible for the content of external Internet sites


This entry is now closed for comments

Jump to comments pagination
  • rate this

    Comment number 88.

    86. Papko
    " trouble is there not many in Scotland who will leave their state subsidised lifestyles to work for them"

    Is this your opinion of all people in Scotland? Or assuming you live in Scotland is it just the attitude of people where you live? If so how did they become like that?

  • rate this

    Comment number 87.

    Scotland could be selling this tech & skills to the Chinese. like we do with offshore tech & skills right now. We would be already if the uk gov hadn't dithered around for fear of Scotland becoming even more self reliant.

    if theres a busienss in it , the Americans would be doing it , or even a Scottish Business existing out with the state ?
    if theres money in it , it will get done

  • rate this

    Comment number 86.

    it'll be good when Scotland gets its great industries restored ,
    the Pits , The Steel works , the Shipbuilding
    trouble is there not many in Scotland who will leave their state subsidised lifestyles to work for them

  • rate this

    Comment number 85.

    Dear BBC

    Can we have a blog on Carbon capture and Storage in Scotland?.You are running 2 stories on it today.

    Scotland could be selling this tech & skills to the Chinese. like we do with offshore tech & skills right now. We would be already if the uk gov hadn't dithered around for fear of Scotland becoming even more self reliant.

    There, I will try not to go off topic again.

  • rate this

    Comment number 84.

    83. norrie

    Well I think the "City" should be fixed or reigned in not destroyed.

    We have no large scale exports and manufacturing like Germany because The Uk fixed the unions by destroying industry.It's a uk thing,if we can't fix it and there is a short term solutuion, destoy it or let it die.
    Just look at Carbon capture and storage tech in 2007 & 2011

    Fortunately the SNP see things differently.

  • rate this

    Comment number 83.

    High Speed Economy Fix

    Why don't we just get rid of this bunch of Shetsters now . How ? Easy , anybody who has a Bank account at say ? ( any or whichever ) Get a few pals together , maybe 20/30 . Form an orderly Q outside , but don't forget to look agitated . Go in and draw all your cash out ! Guaranteed , Economy sorted by THURS AM

  • rate this

    Comment number 82.

    81. Calum McKay
    41. Scottish_ skier

    Yes, Scotland should not have to help subsidise this going though London with all the extra costs. Connection to the Chunnel (which Scotland help subsidise) would be a greater concern. London should pay for it's own "Y-shaped extension".Treating London like the most important thing to be invested in is why the uk has an economy that doesn't make or do things.

  • rate this

    Comment number 81.

    Scotland will pay 3 times for uk's high speed rail system.

    1. Scotland's oil will fund the infrastructure / land buys

    2. Scotland will lose by not having access to European rail links

    3. Scotland will eventually have to fund joining uk system.

    Why not cut steps 1 & 2, fund our own high speed connection to uk system and let uk pay its own.

    C McK

  • rate this

    Comment number 80.

    Only 7.8 bl for new French HSR to be built in a 73 period. 302km.

    Maybe the high costs and crazy time scale are due to logistics and land costs near London.

    Maybe Scotland's sections will be considerably cheaper and easier than down south.

  • rate this

    Comment number 79.

    77. Papko
    "32 billion on a rail link to Glasgow ?"

    No, read it again. 32 Billion will only get you as far as Birmingham from London.

  • rate this

    Comment number 78.

    I have the answer.

    Just replace the existing rolling stock with HS rolling stock. Fast trains on existing rails. Far cheaper. Another brilliant idea...we fit windmills to all carriages, and the faster the train goes, the more wind it generates, turning the windmills faster, and the trains go faster.

    Perpetual motion folks. All for the cost of a few quid.

    (it might work :)

  • rate this

    Comment number 77.

    32 billion on a Rail link to Glasgow ?
    why stop there ?
    Why not connect to a Bothie in Stornoway ?

    You could take the sheep straight to London then

  • rate this

    Comment number 76.

    high speed whatever! but can someone explain why there's no brian taylor blogg about the new scots tory leader, best laugh I've had this decade!

  • rate this

    Comment number 75.

    @ stamp (72)

    Camerons rants are becoming more prolific by the hour .

    EU .... First papendrause , Now Berlusconi ! NEXT up NOW ! Ugh , Me names ( Cameron 5 holidays going on 7 ) Mr . SARKOZEE Me lud .
    Well 7 Holidays ! Where's our 40 Billion for greek bailout, Creep ?
    EH ! My dad's got it at home ! when will you be calling to collect it Sir , Mr. Sarkozee , Sir !

    WHAT ??? !!!!

  • rate this

    Comment number 74.

    This will never happen.
    Remember Regional Eurostar?
    Total failure.
    Even if a new dedicated high speed line is built, train journey times from Scotland to Europe can never be competitive with air travel.
    Scotland should instead focus on taking control of it's own railway and re-integrate it instead of continuing with the absurd privatisation model foisted on us by the Tories.

  • rate this

    Comment number 73.

    #71 maybe the block grant has not been prioritise correctly? transport to Peripheral Maritime Regions still attracts Euro Money. so no money for if the line goes through Glasgow or Edinburg, but maybe up to 50% if it heads straight for the North where it would do most good. but that might not suit the M8 crew!

  • rate this

    Comment number 72.

    A Cameron scam.

    I can just hear it as we get closer to the referendum

    "due to the SNP's separation policy Scotland will no longer get a high speed rail link, we were just looking for ways to spend the Scottish budget, the Unionist in Scotland all agreed with us at the time, discussions closed"


  • rate this

    Comment number 71.

    #70.sigar There is no money for it in the block grant. What's the point of having HS to Glasgow or Edinburgh if it takes you hours to get to either city? Surely it is better to improve services over all of Scotland and repair our trunk roads.

  • rate this

    Comment number 70.

    rural areas have suffered from inadequate rail since before Beaching, the rest of the country is now catching up! if we dont want to be the rural area of europe HS rail has to come to Scotland, with feeder services from all parts.
    if we do it right this would give a big return by providing jobs during and after construction

  • rate this

    Comment number 69.

    #63 maroonfever

    My quoted figures are from this report:

    Figures from

    Published by:

    Aviation Environment Federation
    Broken Wharf House
    2 Broken Wharf
    EC4V 3DT

    Perhaps the planes you mean are the rubber band powered type you can buy in toy shops. Oh bet you drive an SUV too

    Think of it as evolution in action.


Page 1 of 5


More Scotland stories



BBC © 2014 The BBC is not responsible for the content of external sites. Read more.

This page is best viewed in an up-to-date web browser with style sheets (CSS) enabled. While you will be able to view the content of this page in your current browser, you will not be able to get the full visual experience. Please consider upgrading your browser software or enabling style sheets (CSS) if you are able to do so.