We welcome the progress being made by Government in formulating plans for a new pan-UK strategic transport network, including faster and higher capacity connections from HS2 to Scotland and North Wales – which will benefit both passengers and freight.

The Prime Minister’s comments in today’s Daily Telegraph on improving rail links between England and Scotland – “We don’t need a new line; with some bypasses, better track and signalling, as Sir Peter believes, we could run services from Glasgow to London in about 3 hours, and carry more freight too” – are very much in line with our own report, High Speed Rail and Scotland, which set out a series of specific improvements that could help us achieve a 3 hour journey time between our two nations. The £20 million committed by Government today could play a significant role in accelerating this ambition.

A truly national high speed rail network will be essential in not only improving capacity, but levelling up our economy and reaching our 2050 net zero goals. With the Union Connectivity Review set to be published this Summer, the Government should commit to funding the final report’s recommendations as part of the next Spending Review.