Multi-billion pound boost for Scotland’s railways

13 Oct 2017 03:32 PM

The UK government unveiled a generous settlement for Scottish rail passengers, as the record level of funding for Britain’s railways continues.

Ministers have revealed the Scottish Government will receive more than £3.6 billion over five years from 2019/20 – an increase of £600 million on the previous period.

Alongside this, the Scottish Government is also being given greater control over how its rail is funded. So it can choose how best to use this money to improve the reliability of services for passengers, fund upgrades and invest in faster and more comfortable trains.

This new funding settlement is on top of the significant additional Barnett funding the Scottish Government now receives to spend on its priorities, including transport. The Scottish Government has been allocated £1.2 billion since Autumn Statement 2016 and will also get Barnett Formula funding following the UK’s investment in HS2. The Scottish Government will decide how much of this Barnett funding should be spent on the Scottish railway network.

Chief Secretary to the Treasury Elizabeth Truss said:

This multi-billion pound UK government funding is a prime example of how Scotland benefits from the UK’s broad shoulders.

Our record investment for railways across the UK means a settlement for Scotland that could improve the entire network.

We are backing Scotland for its future success and it’s now up to the Scottish Government to ensure maximum benefit for the public.

As a result of UK government decisions in other areas, Scotland has benefited from an additional £2 billion funding since the 2015 Spending Review.

Through the Scotland Act, the Scottish Parliament now has the ability to set devolved taxes in Scotland, making it one of the most powerful devolved Parliaments in the world.

Scotland also benefits from the strength of the UK economy, which was the second fastest growing major advanced economy last year.

Other recent UK government commitments for Scotland:

  • the UK government has invested almost £1 billion in Scottish City Deals and we’re planning further deals for Stirling, the Borderlands and the Tay Cities
  • Scotland will benefit from the UK government’s investment in areas that are key to boosting productivity, such as research and development, science and innovation
  • the National Productivity Investment Fund will invest an extra £23 billion across the UK between 2016/17 and 2021/22