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High speed rail in UK
The business case for High Speed Rail is stronger when it includes Scotland, Transport Minister Keith Brown said yesterday in evidence to House of Commons' Transport Select Committee.
Mr Brown, said:
"Today I've made the case for the significant benefits that a high speed rail link to Scotland will bring - a link which will stimulate economic growth and help secure and create jobs for businesses and communities across the country.
"We must recognise that Scotland is central, not peripheral, to the business case and reports clearly show that the case for high speed rail in Britain to be significantly stronger when it includes an extension to Scotland.
"We also know we could see economic benefits here in Scotland of up to £20 billion pounds and a further £5 billion of wider benefits through job creation. So it is clear that without Scotland's full inclusion in such a network, the long term economic health of our key cities would be seriously disadvantaged.
"I have made our views clear again today. High speed rail is at the heart of the Scottish Government's key objectives - to create long term economic growth and to develop a world-leading low carbon economy. If we are to reap the benefits for businesses and communities across Scotland which a high speed rail link will bring, we must continue to press our case and ensure Scotland's voice is heard."
Separate studies from Network Rail and Greengauge 21 amongst others have also demonstrated a strong business case for Scotland's inclusion in HSR. #
Key benefits are:
High speed rail could bring economic benefits worth £20 billion to the Scottish economy, mainly due to reduced journey times (British Chambers of Commerce and Greengauge 21 figures - Greengauge 21 (GG21): a UK campaign group set up to advance the case for high speed rail in the UK. It is funded by donations from Local Authorities and transport groups. Although Transport Scotland does not contribute funding, it is represented on GG21's programme and public interest groups).
A further £5 billion of wider economic benefits through job creation, jobs being created in areas close to the line and agglomeration (Greengauge 21).
A 3 hour journey time (between Scotland and London) would create modal shift from air, with reduced carbon emissions.
At 3 hours, high speed rail could capture 67 per cent of the overall travel market between Scotland and London. At 2.5 hours, that rises to 80 per cent (Scottish Strategic Business Case, Transport Scotland)