Highlands and Islands MSP John Finnie this afternoon (22/03/2018) called on the Scottish Government to get the Highland Mainline Upgrade Back on Track, citing a lack of progress over the last five years.
Mr Finnie made the call in response to a statement from the Economy Secretary Keith Brown titled An Update on Major Infrastructure Projects, which failed to include any mention of rail projects.
John Finnie said:
“The Cabinet Secretary promised parliament an update on major infrastructure projects, yet chose to talk exclusively about roads. This speaks once more to the Scottish Government’s misplaced priorities – focussing huge sums on building new roads while largely ignoring investment in quality public transport.
“There can be no doubt that the Highland Main Line’s much needed upgrade has been put on the back burner by the Scottish Government. In a rather extraordinary response to my question the Cabinet Secretary referred to investment in the Border’s Railway. While I welcome this rare rail construction project, I am at a loss to see what benefit it brings to the north.
“It seems that the Scottish Government do not fully appreciate just how crowded the single track is and the knock on delays that seriously inconvenience many passengers on a daily basis.
“We are now faced with a situation where we have four lanes of road, and only one lane of rail, considerably less than in Victorian Times.
“The Scottish Government committed to greater investment in low carbon projects as part of the budget, it is now time that they delivered on this promise and invest in the quality rail service that folk in the north deserve.”