Greens Call for North Rail Improvements

By Reporter, The HighLand Times, Wednesday August 8 2018

Pictured: Highlands and Islands MSP John Finnie, and Strathspey and Badenoch Councillor Pippa Hadley.

The Scottish Green Party is calling on the Scottish Government to deliver on its promises by urgently investing in improvements to rail services in the north. Highlands and Islands MSP John Finnie, and Strathspey and Badenoch Councillor Pippa Hadley, have made the call in the wake of Transform Scotland highlighting the Scottish Government’s failure to meet journey time improvement commitments it made ten years ago. Mr Finnie said: “It is disappointing but not surprising that the journey time improvements trumpeted by the then First Minister a decade ago have not been realised. ‘The Scottish Government’s blinkered approach to transport infrastructure - focusing large sums of money on road projects - has come at the expense of public transport. “A quality rail network in the Highlands is essential to cope with the huge increase in tourism, as well as affording opportunities to locals who want to travel across and beyond the region, and proper investment in the Highland Main Line is an important first step in delivering the rail service that my constituents deserve.” Councillor Hadley said: “The proposed improvements to the Highland Main Line are welcome but do not go far enough. “The outdated single-track operation means that one breakdown can, and regularly does, bring the whole network to a halt. “It is vital that improvements are not limited to services between the north and the central belt. “More opportunities for my constituents to travel between intermediate stations, for instance between Kingussie and Aviemore, would greatly boost the opportunities for communities, both socially and economically. “However, such services can only be delivered if the track is dualled.”

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