SCDI made a Submission to Transport Scotland on the Rail Infrastructure Strategy Consultation in February 2017.

Our response covers Consultation aspects including Vision for Rail; Changing Structures; Sustainable Infrastructure Investment; Climate Change & Sustainability; Deciding what our Railway Should Deliver; and Safety, Innovation & New Technologies.

SCDI's action plan for the Scottish economy - 'From Fragile to Agile: A Blueprint for Growth & Prosperity' - focuses on addressing the long term weaknesses in the areas of productivity, innovation and internationalisation. Infrastructure is identified as a key enabler for improvements across these areas - in particular infrastructure which is smart and which is low carbon.

The publication of the Blueprint was followed by the launch of SCDI's Connectivity Commission. This will report on the changes, particularly technology-enabled, which are increasingly transforming transport services and infrastructure, specifically considering future-proofing of networks, funding and decision-making. The Commission's report will be published this Spring.

The vision for rail set out in the draft strategy is broadly welcomed by SCDI. We acknowledge and support the significant long term investment in the rail network across Scotland since devolution and the improvements which have been and continue to be delivered. However, there is a concern among many SCDI members that our transport networks are falling further behind internationally, and that this is a risk to our economic competitiveness. Passenger numbers have increased substantially over the last 20 years and Network Rail's Scotland Route Study has projected that this will continue.

SCDI welcomes the long-term investment and progress which continues to be made by Transport Scotland, by operators of passenger franchise and freight services, and by Network Rail to substantially improve Scotland's railways. In SCDI's view, there has seldom been a better time to invest substantially in sustainable infrastructure improvements, with interest rates on borrowing at historically low levels and not forecast to rise significantly in the immediate term. 

You can read SCDI's Submission via the right hand menu.