Edinburgh-Shotts-Glasgow Rail Line

General Questions – in the Scottish Parliament at 2:00 pm on 9th December 2004.

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Photo of Bristow Muldoon Bristow Muldoon Labour 2:00 pm, 9th December 2004

To ask the Scottish Executive what progress has been made on enhancing rail services on the Edinburgh to Glasgow via Shotts line. (S2O-4481)

Photo of Allan Wilson Allan Wilson Labour

Members of the working group that is exploring improvements to services on that line are still considering issues arising from the feasibility study. I understand that the group also plans to meet First ScotRail to discuss the proposal.

Photo of Bristow Muldoon Bristow Muldoon Labour

I welcome the minister's response that the working group and First ScotRail are due to meet shortly. I encourage the minister to ensure that the Executive gives full encouragement to the project. Does the minister agree with my assessment that the project is a potential early win for the new franchise holder that will ensure that congestion in the east of Scotland is tackled through the enhanced use of one of the lesser-used railway lines in the east of Scotland?

Photo of Allan Wilson Allan Wilson Labour

I agree with the member's latter point. The modal shift in investment to rail transportation will bring benefit to business and the environment across the board in all areas where we are investing in new rolling stock and rail infrastructure. I am sure that the Minister for Transport will encourage the interested parties to get on with bringing those benefits to the people of Livingston and Shotts as soon as possible.