ASLEF Disappointed by Decision to Cut Edinburgh-Glasgow Improvement Programme Budget

17 July 2012

ASLEF was extremely disappointed by the SNP’s decision to cut the Edinburgh Glasgow Improvement Programme budget by almost a third, from £1 billion to £650m earlier this month. The decision means a proposed increase in the number of trains between Scotland’s two largest cities will not now go ahead, and the quickest services will be 5 minutes slower than planned.

Plans to electrify Scotland’s rail network have also suffered, with half the programme of electrification being cancelled with Stirling, Dunblane and Alloa not now benefitting from faster and cleaner trains. This decision is all the more regrettable given the significant plans to electrify parts of the English and Welsh rail network announced earlier this week. 

ASLEF General Secretary Mick Whelan said; ‘While ASLEF welcomes any improvement to Scotland’s railway we are extremely disappointed that the SNP has reneged on its earlier promises to build a network fit for the 21st Century. The £350m cut is further evidence that rail is not a priority for the SNP government.

Mick added, ‘ Given that Scotland’s economy contracted by 0.1% in the last quarter the SNP Government should be investing to stimulate economic growth and create jobs not cutting spending on infrastructure.’

Note. The original EGIP proposals were for six trains an hour in each direction between Edinburgh and Glasgow with the fastest journey times cut from 50 minutes to 37 minutes.

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