The argument for a high speed rail network in the UK is strong, but is stronger when Scotland is included. That is the clear message from this report, published by Scotland's Partnership Group for high speed rail.
Scotland stands together in its support for high speed rail. The Partnership Group brings together colleagues representing the broadest spectrum of Scotland's interests. It speaks for communities and business across Scotland's diverse geographical and economic landscape.
We see the benefit of high speed rail to Scotland. It will stimulate our industry sectors and improve Scotland's attractiveness to inward investment.
And, we are convinced of the benefit of Scotland's inclusion to the rest of the UK. Better connections with Scotland's strong economic sectors will benefit cities across the UK. High speed rail will substantially reduce the need for domestic aviation between
Glasgow, Edinburgh and London; the potential for environmental benefits is huge.
I established the Scottish Partnership Group to develop and promote Scotland's case for inclusion in a UK-wide, strategic high speed rail network. It has done so in a spirit of close co-operation and with a clarity of purpose, and it has set challenges for both the UK and Scottish Governments. I thank all of those involved.
I endorse this report, and I am pleased to present it on behalf of the group.
Keith Brown MSP
Minister for Housing and Transport