MSP seeks rail spend re-think

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A local politician has called on the Scottish Government to go “back to the drawing board” on a promise to improve rail links between Aberdeen and the Central Belt.

Ministers announced in January, 2016, investment of £200 million on rail upgrades, including track dualling, to speed up journey times.

It has since emerged that the planned spending would only shave two minutes off existing travel times.

Scottish Conservative MSP for North East Region Liam Kerr has now challenged the Scottish Government to look again at how it can deliver on its pledge to improve rail connectivity.

He said: “The SNP must deliver on the promise made three years ago to improve rail links between Aberdeen and the Central Belt. It is now clear that the £200 million figure quoted at the time was simply plucked out of thin air.”

A Transport Scotland spokesman said “Rail services in the North-east and key routes connecting Aberdeen with the Central Belt are already benefiting from substantial investment, not least through the significant increase in service levels implemented through the December timetable change. Even more service improvements are planned for May and December 2019 and taken together with the re-doubling of track between Aberdeen and Inverurie being delivered now, these add up to the most significant improvement in rail services around the region for many decades.”