Thursday, January 22, 2009

High-speed links vital for the Scottish economy

A report to be considered by the SEStran board this week recommends that SEStran play a leading role in a new campaign to lobby for high speed rail services.

The Scottish Association for Public Transport (SAPT) has approached SEStran to work in partnership with other Regional Transport Partnerships (RTPs), Scottish business, cross-party political interests and other bodies, to press for action on the issue.

SEStran is already strongly involved with the Channel Tunnel Initiative (CTI) Group, which was originally set up to promote expansion of the Channel Tunnel services beyond London, and has adopted promotion of the concept of a UK-wide high speed rail network.

SEStran Chair, Cllr Russell Imrie said:

“The development of high speed rail links with London, other parts of Scotland and the UK would have many advantages for the SEStran region, which is why we have already set aside part of our 2008-9 budget to fund research in this area

“High speed rail offers a viable alternative to air travel for business travellers and others planning long distance travel within the UK. It could also play a role in reducing car dependency, by providing an alterative to driving for many long distance commuters”.

“SEStran has a track record of championing high-speed rail as one of the range of options that should be actioned to create a sustainable transportation system that will meet the needs of everyone living in SE Scotland. We will continue to play a leading role in campaigning for action on this issue”

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