Rail Network Improvements

– in the Scottish Parliament on 10th January 2019.

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Photo of Colin Beattie Colin Beattie Scottish National Party

9. To ask the Scottish Government what steps it is taking to improve the rail network. (S5O-02757)

Photo of Michael Matheson Michael Matheson Scottish National Party

Since 2007, we have invested around £8 billion in infrastructure and services to support Scotland’s railways. We continue to demonstrate our commitment to improving rail infrastructure through the high-level output specification and the rail enhancements and capital investment strategy, supported by a £4.85 billion investment in control period 6. An announcement on which rail projects will form the first part of the control period 6 portfolio will be made by the end of March 2019.

Photo of Colin Beattie Colin Beattie Scottish National Party

The cabinet secretary will be aware of the recent reports regarding train delays and cancellations. Will he outline what specific steps are being taken to improve the Musselburgh line and the Borders railway in the short and long terms?

Photo of Michael Matheson Michael Matheson Scottish National Party

As I stated in the chamber earlier this week, performance on our railways has been unacceptable, which is why I instructed Transport Scotland to serve a contractual notice on ScotRail to prepare and submit a remedial plan that sets out how it plans to address performance issues, including on the North Berwick route that serves Musselburgh and on the Borders railway, to the contractually required levels. I assure Colin Beattie that there is no lack of determination on my part to ensure that ScotRail keeps to the standards that are expected of it as set out in the contract. I am determined to ensure that we address the issue, and the remedial plan will assist in dealing with it.

The Presiding Officer:

That concludes general question time. Before we turn to First Minister’s question time, I am sure that members will like to join me in welcoming to the gallery Dr Gabriele Andretta, President of the State Parliament of Lower Saxony. [

Applause

.]