FTA has today welcomed the publication by Scottish Ministers of the High Level Output Specification (“HLOS”) for Scotland's Railways. This is the first time that Scottish Ministers have published their specification for the railways in Scotland under devolved arrangements. A similar publication for England is due before the end of July.
This is good news for Scotland and the UK as it sets out spending on rail from 2009 to 2014, supporting maintenance of the current level of service on the existing network and including improvements to be delivered such as the Stirling – Alloa – Kirkaldy line which will have freight benefits. Additional schemes to deliver infrastructure and capacity enhancements to benefit freight as well as passenger services will also be explored.
The HLOS is however lacking in detailing Industry's freight needs. To fill the gap, FTA has produced Scottish Industry's demands for a World – class transport infrastructure to enable Scotland to compete in the Global economy. It can be accessed by clicking http://www.fta.co.uk/information/keycampaigns/railcampaign/index.htm
Chris MacRae, FTA's Rail Freight and Global Supply Chain Service Manager said, “It is vital that the correct infrastructure investment is put in place to allow rail freight in Scotland to meet the challenges of both the Stern and Eddington Reports. Sir Rod Eddington identified that it is infrastructure constraints that are most likely to impact upon a nation's productivity and competitiveness and that Government should prioritise action on those parts of the transport system that are critical in supporting economic growth.”
MacRae concluded “We will be pursuing these recommendations with Ministers and Transport Scotland to ensure that rail can best serve the needs of Scottish and wider UK industry.”