Ministers vow to keep rail link between England and northern Scotland


TRAIN passengers in the north of Scotland will continue to have a direct link with England.

Transport Minister Keith Brown confirmed there will be no cross-border train ‘hub’ and instead plans for enhancements to the service during a visit to Dundee today (Tues).

The Minister ruled out the possibility of introducing an Edinburgh change-over for train journeys between England and Inverness, Aberdeen and Dundee after passengers were asked for their views as part of Transport Scotland’s Rail2014 consultation ahead of the next franchise.

Scotland’s northern cities will still have a direct rail link

Mr Brown has announced he decided to continue the current pattern of service provision after it emerged as the preferred option for passengers on the routes.

During the visit to Dundee train station this morning, Mr Brown also revealed he has negotiated a greater say for Scotland in the specification of the next Department for Transport east coast franchise, due next year.

Mr Brown said: “The Rail2014 consultation set out to ensure rail users in Scotland were given a voice in how their service develops.

“That is why we listened when passengers in the north of Scotland told us they are happy with the direct service to and from England.

“Of course, I appreciate why there were concerns but it is right that we give a full appraisal of the options and then let people have their say and I am very pleased to confirm that this has resulted in the continuation of direct cross-border services for the north of Scotland.

“I am also delighted that we have managed to secure an enhanced role in designing how the DfT east coast franchise will move forward.

“I received a letter just last week sent on behalf of UK Transport Minister Theresa Villiers welcoming our increased input in how that service will develop and confirming a closer working relationship on cross border services.

“This all goes towards the Scottish Government’s vision of an attractive rail service which is accessible to and a real option for as many people as possible.”