Date lodged: 19 September 2017
To ask the Scottish Government what action it has carried out in response to the June 2016 report, West Highland Line Extension Tulloch to Newtonmore, which was prepared for Transport Scotland.
Answered by: Humza Yousaf 27 September 2017
The 2008 Strategic Transport Projects Review (STPR), which sets out the Scottish Government's priorities for investment until 2032 and forms the main basis for the specification of future transport spending priorities, did not recommend a rail link between the west coast Highlands and Inverness. As a consequence the Scottish Government has no current plans to progress this project.
However we are committed to improving rail services and connectivity across the Scottish network and are willing to consider proposals for new services where there is clear evidence of benefits, subject to affordability, taking into account the potential impact on other passengers on the network. Transport Scotland are happy to offer support and advice to promoters who wish to take forward projects for consideration, in line with Scottish Transport Appraisal Guidance (STAG) and accompanied by a robust and coherent business case.
Promoters of any new rail link should contact the local Regional Transport Partnership, in this case Highlands and Islands Transport Partnership (HITRANS), to establish if the proposal fits with their local and regional transport strategies.