The Scottish Council for Development and Industry has welcomed plans to improve cross-border connectivity between Scotland and England. First Minister Nicola Sturgeon has today (Monday) announced major steps to reduce journey times by rail. 

Speaking to business leaders in Newcastle, the First Minister confirmed that  feasibility studies were being commissioned to identify options to help improve train journey times, capacity, resilience and reliability on services between Scotland and England. 

Mark Bevan, Chief Executive of SCDI, said:

“Improving transport connectivity is of huge significance to Scotland’s economy and future growth. With this in mind we welcome major steps to reduce journey times, like those announced today by the First Minister. 

“Businesses north of the border rely heavily on their ability to connect with the north of England, London, and the rest of the UK, so any measures which significantly reduce rail travel time will bring real benefits.  

“SCDI chairs the High Speed Rail Scotland Group and the latest proposals provide a framework for investing in Scotland’s wider rail network, ensuring that the improvements are felt throughout the whole country and not just across the central belt. Every area deserves to share in the benefits of economic growth and whilst ideas can travel quickly through our digital connections, that does not replace our need for transport links.”

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