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A Whole Industry Strategic Plan? Then don’t forget about Anglo-Scottish rail routes.

Published 01 February 2022 by Rachel McFarlane

Today, our rail spokesperson Paul Tetlaw responded to Great British Railway’s consultation on their proposed Whole Industry Strategic Plan, which will impact the future of Britain’s railways.

In May 2021, the government announced its plan to carry out the largest reform of Great Britain’s railways in over three decades, through the development and implementation of the Whole Industry Strategic Plan. They set out to ask what this sector wide, long-term rail strategy should include to ensure that the country’s economy and environment could thrive.

In his response, Paul focuses on one particular aspect of the railway and overall transport policy — the Anglo-Scottish rail routes. He illustrates why recent announcements regarding rail in England, such as the downgrading of HS2, will have significant impact on Anglo-Scottish journeys and the ability to create modal shift from air and road to rail on these routes.

Paul notes that: “Before the pandemic there were over a hundred daily flights from Central Scotland to London with the modal share being 70% air 30% rail … cutting rail journey times from Edinburgh & Glasgow to London to 3 hours would enable rail’s modal share to grow to 75%.”

Paul concludes the response by arguing that “the necessary work should be undertaken in a staged manner for completion by 2035, not 2050.