03/Sep/2014 - Last News Update: 07:02

Ministers to take part in high-speed rail talks

Category: Scotland

Published: 1st Mar 2012 16:04:53

Holyrood's transport minister will tell his Westminster counterpart he wants Scotland to be included from the start in the new high-speed rail line.

Phase one of the line, known as HS2, will be between London and Birmingham and should be running by 2026.

There are no scheduled plans to take the line to Scotland.

The Scottish government's Keith Brown will meet Westminster's Transport Secretary Justine Greening later to discuss the project.

The coalition government gave the go-ahead to the first phase of the network on 10 January.

The second phase aims to take the line north to Leeds and Manchester by 2033.

Plans are in place for the new high-speed rail line.

The London-West Midlands phase is expected to be built between 2016 and 2026, followed by the onward legs to Manchester and Leeds by 2032-33.

The UK government says the HS2 project will cost £32.7bn at present values and deliver benefits worth £47bn, although opponents dispute these claims.

Ahead of the meeting at the Scottish Parliament, Mr Brown said: "Business, transport and civic leaders have already made clear that the case for high-speed rail is strong, but is stronger when Scotland is involved from the very outset.

"That is why I am arguing that the network must reach further, and be delivered faster, than the current DfT proposals.

"Every city that is included only adds to its business case. Why would you delay development, or insist that new construction must be phased from London?"

He added: "The high-speed rail line will undoubtedly bring benefits to the areas it serves. But if it does not extend beyond the current plans of just a third of the way up the British mainland, those benefits will focus on London.

"If that is the case, it will not realise its full potential. The only way to ensure full value is to include Scotland from the beginning."

Tory minister Ms Greening said that the UK government had been clear "from day one" that the HS2 project would benefit the entire country.

She added: "Even the plans we have already announced will see Scotland enjoying an hour off the current journey time to London.

"When I announced that HS2 would be going ahead, I made a commitment to work with the Scottish government and others on how to build on this and look at further improving connectivity between the north and south.

"I look forward to what I hope will be fruitful and constructive discussions."

Source:
BBC News External Link Show Citation

Latest News

Harvard Citation

BBC News, 2012. Ministers to take part in high-speed rail talks [Online] (Updated 1st Mar 2012)
Available at: http://www.ukwirednews.com/news/1415199/Ministers-to-take-part-in-high-speed-rail-talks [Accessed 3rd Sep 2014]

News In Other Categories

  • Swansea's Jonjo Shelvey in England 'thoughts' says Hodgson

    England manager Roy Hodgson has given encouragement to Jonjo Shelvey and his Swansea City team-mates that they remain in contention for a call-up.
  • Any diet will do, say researchers, if you stick to it

    All diets - from Atkins to Weight Watchers - have similar results and people should simply pick the one they find easiest, say researchers.
  • Barack Obama set to fly in for Nato summit in Newport

    Barack Obama will become the first serving US president to visit Wales when he arrives in Newport for the Nato summit later.
  • Toronto Film Festival 2014: Ones to watch

    The Toronto International Film Festival is set to kick off on Thursday - one of the largest and most prestigious events in the annual film festival calendar.
  • Bristol Academy extends reach overseas with first foreign students

    With the doors to its brand new £1million training centre officially open, one of the UK's leading apprentice training providers, Bristol based S&B Automotive Academy, is showcasing its world-class facilities by launching a series of foreign student exchanges for the first time in its 41-year history. To get a flavour of what life is like as an apprentice in the UK, the Academy hosted 16 apprentice engineers and bus drivers from the G9 Automotive College in Hamburg, Germany, as part of a Europe-wide vocational training initiative called the ‘Leonardo Programme’ with support from the European Social Fund. In a reciprocal arrangement, S&B will be sending nine apprentices to Germany during February 2012 so that they can get an appreciation of life in the automotive industry on the Continent. A further three German exchange groups are being planned for next year. Designed to assist the development of vocational skills and training across Europe, including work placements for trainees, the Leonardo Programme has a budget of €1.75bn, which is helping to encourage UK organisations to work with their counterparts abroad. In what is expected to be another challenging year for employers in the UK automotive sector, S&B’s Chief Executive, Jon Winter, claims that the exchange initiative will bring many benefits to the Academy and its apprentices: “In a world of global automotive brands, it’s important for our learners to understand the international context of the industry they have chosen to make their career. This new exchange programme will enable apprentices and Academy staff alike to achieve a better understanding of the challenges and opportunities within the automotive arena in Europe. With the Academy’s influence also extending to the USA and Asia, there’s every possibility that this initiative could move further afield in the future.” Continued Winter: “The need for skilled technicians across the world is on the increase and we actively encourage our apprentices to look at broader horizons during their training. Many of them have already learned the phrase ‘Vorsprung durch Gelehrtheit’, quite simply, ‘Advancement through learning.” In the 2010/11 academic year, S&B doubled the number of successful Apprenticeships over the previous year with some 350 apprentices graduating from the Academy. At the same time, achievement levels reached an all-time high with an overall success rate of 85%. For those learners on the Advanced Apprenticeship three-year programme, success rates were even higher, at over 98%. PHOTO CAPTION: As part of their exchange visit, S&B Automotive Academy arranged for the German apprentices to visit Hampshire bus operator, Bluestar, at its Barton Park depot. The students are pictured with S&B’s Andy West (3rd right) and Steve Prewett, Bluestar’s Area Engineering Manager (2nd right). Ends http://www.sandbaa.com
  • Horizon: The defenders of anonymity on the internet

    You may not realise it, but every time you open up your laptop or switch on your phone, you are at the heart of one of the greatest battles now taking place in our midst - what shape will the internet take in the future, and what role will anonymity play in deciding it?