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Parliamentary debates and questions

S5W-04721: Gail Ross (Caithness, Sutherland and Ross)

Scottish National Party

Date lodged: 15 November 2016

To ask the Scottish Government whether it will provide details of how interested parties can inform Scotland’s future rail infrastructure strategy.

Answered by: Humza Yousaf 16 November 2016

Scotland’s railways are a national asset, providing a vital public service to people and communities across the country, and enabling businesses to move goods and materials to markets.

The recent refresh of our National Transport Strategy confirmed our key strategic outcomes: to improve journey times and connection, reduce emissions and improve the quality, accessibility and affordability of the transport network in Scotland. These aims have been embedded in the ScotRail and Caledonian Sleeper franchise contracts and will continue to drive our approach.

However we realise that our work doesn’t stop there, and that’s why Transport Scotland is now consulting on our general approach to the way we specify and fund our overall requirements for Scotland’s railways from 2019.

I can confirm that tomorrow we will launch the Consultation on Transport Scotland’s rail infrastructure strategy from 2019 on the Citizen Space website at: https://consult.scotland.gov.uk/rail-policy/rail-infrastructure-strategy-from-2019

The results from this consultation will help to inform the Scottish Ministers’ High Level Output Specification (HLOS) for Control Period 6, covering the five-year period to March 2024. The HLOS, due to be submitted to the Office of Rail and Road by June 2017, will set out the Scottish Government’s commitment to improving performance, reducing journey times and increasing the capacity and capability of the Scottish rail network.

This consultation is a real opportunity for interested parties to help shape our approach to the specification and funding of future rail investment priorities, outputs, targets and key performance indicators, and I welcome views on our proposed approach.