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Scottish Politics 2011-2017


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Posted
  • Location: Carryduff, County Down 420ft ASL
  • Location: Carryduff, County Down 420ft ASL

    beat me to it SS.

    Fantastic political information for the Yes campaign.

    Why can't HS2 start from Scotland and work South?

    The Union is finished.

    Edited by mountain shadow
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    And that ignorant, offensive, rant sums up exactly why the YES campaign failed  

    Good god. What a load of boarish spiteful bile from bad losers has been posted during the night. I actually dread to think how Scotland would be run if this is representative of how the yes vote behav

    I'm disappointed in the lack of grace shown by some across the net in accepting this No vote. A complete lack of any empathy and understanding as to why fellow Scots didn't vote Yes.   I personally

    Posted Images

    Posted
  • Location: Stoke Gifford, Bristol
  • Location: Stoke Gifford, Bristol

    This (from MORI) is quite remarkable.

    Posted Image

    Note the graph on the right has a typo - that's 'Net approval rating' not % Yes.

    A majority of Labour and Lib Dem voters are satisfied with the SNP Scottish government. Even a 3rd of Tory voters.

    That says something very important.

    --------------

    I wonder why this information wasn't included in the HS2 report and had to be acquired by FoI?

    http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/uk-24589652

    HS2 'losers' revealed after report omitted figures

    The areas that could lose out if a new north-to-south rail link is built have been revealed for the first time.

    HS2 would make more than 50 places across the UK worse off - among them Aberdeen, Bristol and Cardiff - previously unseen research by accountants KPMG suggested.

    Economic output would be worst affected, according to the research, in:

    Aberdeenshire, Aberdeen City and Moray (-£220m)

    Norfolk East (-£164m)

    Dundee and Angus (-£96m)

    Cardiff (-£68m)

    Norfolk West (-£56m)

    That report is fundamentally flawed imo.

    Both Bristol and Cardiff will be served by electrified rail in next 15 years, all the way to and from London - that can only be beneficial for both cities.

    Aberdeen will continue to thrive from oil and i believe it is one of the most prosperous cities in the UK.

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    Posted
  • Location: Leeds/Bradford border, 185 metres above sea level, around 600 feet
  • Location: Leeds/Bradford border, 185 metres above sea level, around 600 feet

    Makes sense, it concentrates wealth in London, Birmingham, Manchester and Leeds.

    I do agree that it should go to Scotland but since the entire point is that its part of the European high speed network it would still be best to start in the south although if we really wanted we could build it all between 2020-2030.

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    Posted
  • Location: Near Lauder, SE Scotland, 175 m asl
  • Location: Near Lauder, SE Scotland, 175 m asl

    The best chance for Scotland to develop its transport network is to vote for independence.

     

    By default, the UK government can't act in Scotland's interests; Scotland is after all just 8.4% of the population. The UK government would be failing the rest of the UK if it acted primarily in Scotland's interests any more than 8.4% of the time.

     

    Rather than taxes in Scotland going to fund projects which don't benefit it's economy (e.g. Crossrail, the London sewer system, HS2 which are classed as 'UK' projects) due them being hundreds of miles away in a different country, these would be better spent improving transport links in Scotland, e.g. upgrading connections from Aberdeen and Inverness to the central belt.

     

    Note polls suggest support for HS2 in Scotland is ~2/10 with 6/10 opposed. I can fully understand that. Why have your taxes used on a project that will not even come anywhere near Scotland (latest UK poll also against by 45N to 35Y).

     

    EDIT.

     

    The good news for the residents and businesses of the North-East, of course, is that Scotland’s share of the cost of HS2 is a mere Â£4.2bn at the latest estimates (which are of course likely to be revised dramatically upwards over time), which is only enough to double the current government investment in ScotRail for around 14 years.

     

    http://wingsoverscotland.com/the-trickle-down-effect/

     

     

    Paragraph 5 of the High Speed Rail (Preparation) Bill states that: “Aberdeen, Inverness and all stations north of Edinburgh lose all direct trains to Londonâ€

     

    Full document here: http://www.publications.parliament.uk/pa/cm201314/cmpublic/highspeedrail/memo/hsr18.htm

     

    Basically, if you live north of Embra or Glasgow, it will actually take LONGER to get to London because of the need to change trains. Also, it means the end of the Sleeper service from Inverness.

    Edited by scottish skier
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    Posted
  • Location: Paris suburbs
  • Location: Paris suburbs

    I hope there'll be scope for another HS line to the Central Belt (which would surely be the next (and final?) logical step when it comes to big rail projects) regardless of how Scotland votes next year.

    Edited by Harve
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    Posted
  • Location: Near Lauder, SE Scotland, 175 m asl
  • Location: Near Lauder, SE Scotland, 175 m asl

    I hope there'll be scope for another HS line to the Central Belt (which would surely be the next (and final?) logical step when it comes to big rail projects) regardless of how Scotland votes next year.

     

     

     

    This is already in the pipeline.

     

    http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/uk-scotland-scotland-politics-20296195

     

    High-speed rail plan for Glasgow to Edinburgh line

     

    Plans for a high-speed rail link between Glasgow and Edinburgh, cutting journey times to less than 30 minutes, are being taken forward by ministers.

     
    The Scottish government aims to deliver the scheme by 2024 - at least 10 years before any high-speed link from England may be extended north of the border.
     
     
    Meanwhile, SNP announce they will not put tolls on the new Forth Queensferry Crossing if they are in government.
     

    http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/uk-scotland-edinburgh-east-fife-24582074

     

    Queensferry Crossing 'will not have tolls', says John Swinney

     

    The £1.4bn Queensferry Crossing will be toll-free when it opens in 2016, Scotland's Finance Secretary has said...

     
    ...He added: "The Queensferry crossing - the biggest infrastructure project in a generation - is helping the people of Fife with jobs, apprenticeships and contracts for local companies. It is being delivered on time - and it is being delivered under budget.
     
    There are good reasons for the SNP getting nearly 6/10 satisfaction ratings.
     
     
    -------------
     
    EDIT 
     
    On another topic, reports of 50-60 foreign diplomats at the SNP conference right now, up from 15 last time.
     
    20 nations represented including the USA, Canada, Russia, Japan and Germany.

     

     

    Edited by scottish skier
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    Posted
  • Location: Leeds/Bradford border, 185 metres above sea level, around 600 feet
  • Location: Leeds/Bradford border, 185 metres above sea level, around 600 feet

    SS, I'm not sure it will take longer. If memory serves the cross country service from Penzance stops at plenty of places in Scotland hourly. Getting this train still allows you to connect to HS2 in Leeds or Birmingham.

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    Posted
  • Location: Upper Tweeddale, Scottish Borders 240m ASL
  • Location: Upper Tweeddale, Scottish Borders 240m ASL

    Of course it won't take longer nor require a change. The plan is for trains to operate out of London on HS2 to either Birmingham or Manchester (depending on how far construction has got) and then continue on existing infrastructure. By 2025 the overhead wires will have been erected north of Edinburgh solving the problem.

    Furthermore the sleepers from Fort Bill, Inverness and Aberdeen together with those from lowland Scotland are wholly devolved to SG already. They are not under any threat at all.

    Disappointing misreporting there.

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    Posted
  • Location: Near Lauder, SE Scotland, 175 m asl
  • Location: Near Lauder, SE Scotland, 175 m asl

    Disappointing misreporting there.

     

    You can't exactly blame people. This comes straight from the HS2 parliamentary bill:

     

    HS2 Ltd suggests that all ordinary intercity services from Liverpool to London (as opposed to HS2 ‘classic compatible’ services) could be re-routed via Birmingham, while passengers wishing to travel on traditional intercity services to London from Glasgow, the Lake District and Lancaster would see all of their trains diverted via Manchester. Both diversions would increase journey times for passengers by about an hour. Finally, Aberdeen, Inverness and all stations north of Edinburgh lose all direct trains to London in HS2 Ltd’s document. [4]

     

    http://www.publications.parliament.uk/pa/cm201314/cmpublic/highspeedrail/memo/hsr18.htm

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    Posted
  • Location: Leeds/Bradford border, 185 metres above sea level, around 600 feet
  • Location: Leeds/Bradford border, 185 metres above sea level, around 600 feet

    Of course it won't take longer nor require a change. The plan is for trains to operate out of London on HS2 to either Birmingham or Manchester (depending on how far construction has got) and then continue on existing infrastructure. By 2025 the overhead wires will have been erected north of Edinburgh solving the problem.

    Furthermore the sleepers from Fort Bill, Inverness and Aberdeen together with those from lowland Scotland are wholly devolved to SG already. They are not under any threat at all.

    Disappointing misreporting there.

     

    I'm not big on engineering but i was told that the European gauge which HS2 runs on means that trains can't run on both conventional and high speed lines (which would require a connection therefore). I could well be wrong however.

     

    You can't exactly blame people. This comes straight from the HS2 parliamentary bill:

     

    HS2 Ltd suggests that all ordinary intercity services from Liverpool to London (as opposed to HS2 ‘classic compatible’ services) could be re-routed via Birmingham, while passengers wishing to travel on traditional intercity services to London from Glasgow, the Lake District and Lancaster would see all of their trains diverted via Manchester. Both diversions would increase journey times for passengers by about an hour. Finally, Aberdeen, Inverness and all stations north of Edinburgh lose all direct trains to London in HS2 Ltd’s document. [4]

     

    http://www.publications.parliament.uk/pa/cm201314/cmpublic/highspeedrail/memo/hsr18.htm

     

    If you change to HS2 at Manchester you presumably gain, you'd only lose the hour if you stayed on.

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    Posted
  • Location: Upper Tweeddale, Scottish Borders 240m ASL
  • Location: Upper Tweeddale, Scottish Borders 240m ASL

    You can't exactly blame people. This comes straight from the HS2 parliamentary bill:

    HS2 Ltd suggests that all ordinary intercity services from Liverpool to London (as opposed to HS2 ‘classic compatible’ services) could be re-routed via Birmingham, while passengers wishing to travel on traditional intercity services to London from Glasgow, the Lake District and Lancaster would see all of their trains diverted via Manchester. Both diversions would increase journey times for passengers by about an hour. Finally, Aberdeen, Inverness and all stations north of Edinburgh lose all direct trains to London in HS2 Ltd’s document. [4]

    http://www.publications.parliament.uk/pa/cm201314/cmpublic/highspeedrail/memo/hsr18.htm

    Well my disappointment needs to be once again redirected (!) to Westminster's Dept for Transport for being unable to join the dots - again.
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    Posted
  • Location: Upper Tweeddale, Scottish Borders 240m ASL
  • Location: Upper Tweeddale, Scottish Borders 240m ASL

    I'm not big on engineering but i was told that the European gauge which HS2 runs on means that trains can't run on both conventional and high speed lines (which would require a connection therefore). I could well be wrong however.

    You're right in that HS2 will indeed be built to the standard European gauge, but the passenger trains designed to travel beyond its limits will be British gauge, much like the Eurostar trainsets on HS1.
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    Posted
  • Location: Near Lauder, SE Scotland, 175 m asl
  • Location: Near Lauder, SE Scotland, 175 m asl

    I'm not big on engineering but i was told that the European gauge which HS2 runs on means that trains can't run on both conventional and high speed lines (which would require a connection therefore). I could well be wrong however.

     

     

    If you change to HS2 at Manchester you presumably gain, you'd only lose the hour if you stayed on.

     

    Part of the delay is taking you to Manchester, so you've already lost time. Then you have to change trains. You main then save time on HS2 to London, but you've already lost time before that so it's questionable whether you gain at all added to the inconvenience of having to switch trains; slight delays / missing connections could also cause problems.

     

    As far as I'm concerned 8.4% of the taxpayers money being spent on HS2 should be given to the Scottish government to decide what's best to spend it on in terms of infrastructure in Scotland. But then that's not going to happen as H2S supposedly benefits 'the UK' so is not allocated to England's budget meaning no Barnett consequentials for Scotland. 

     

    I'm waiting for the day the UK government deems a big project in Scotland as benefiting the whole of the UK so should come from that budget, not the devolved one. 

     

    Hey, the 'UK budget' paid for the Olympics so.... for the Commonwealth Games? 

     

    No, Scottish Government have to fund that out of the same budget for schools, education etc.

    Edited by scottish skier
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    Posted
  • Location: Leeds/Bradford border, 185 metres above sea level, around 600 feet
  • Location: Leeds/Bradford border, 185 metres above sea level, around 600 feet

    You can't exactly blame people. This comes straight from the HS2 parliamentary bill:

     

    HS2 Ltd suggests that all ordinary intercity services from Liverpool to London (as opposed to HS2 ‘classic compatible’ services) could be re-routed via Birmingham, while passengers wishing to travel on traditional intercity services to London from Glasgow, the Lake District and Lancaster would see all of their trains diverted via Manchester. Both diversions would increase journey times for passengers by about an hour. Finally, Aberdeen, Inverness and all stations north of Edinburgh lose all direct trains to London in HS2 Ltd’s document. [4]

     

    http://www.publications.parliament.uk/pa/cm201314/cmpublic/highspeedrail/memo/hsr18.htm

     

    Out of interest what does Edinburgh council think of HS2 given that its services won't be redirected and there should be good savings in journey time.

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    Posted
  • Location: Near Lauder, SE Scotland, 175 m asl
  • Location: Near Lauder, SE Scotland, 175 m asl

    Out of interest what does Edinburgh council think of HS2 given that its services won't be redirected and there should be good savings in journey time.

     

    How will there be particular savings / benefits? East coast mainline will be largely the same surely? And if they want to go down the west, then the savings to journey time is much smaller from Edinburgh than e.g. Leeds or Birmingham, certainly until the whole thing was HS2 all the way to Edinburgh.

     

    Better to devolve air passenger duty so Edinburgh / Glasgow / Aberdeen / Inverness can start to be more competitive.

     

    That's been refused however as it would mean airports in Scotland competing with those in London in terms of serving more destinations/becoming more of a hub. Also the N. of England as they'd have a good case for control of APD if Scotland did.

     

    And anyway, from the map being used by the BBC et al., the connections in Scotland are to Penicuik/West Linton and Eaglesham by the looks of it. Posted Image

     

    Posted Image

    Edited by scottish skier
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    Posted
  • Location: Leeds/Bradford border, 185 metres above sea level, around 600 feet
  • Location: Leeds/Bradford border, 185 metres above sea level, around 600 feet

    How will there be particular savings / benefits? East coast mainline will be largely the same surely? And if they want to go down the west, then the savings to journey time is much smaller from Edinburgh than e.g. Leeds or Birmingham, certainly until the whole thing was HS2 all the way to Edinburgh.

     

    Better to devolved air passenger duty so Edinburgh / Glasgow / Aberdeen / Inverness can start to be more competitive.

     

    That's been refused however as it would mean airports in Scotland competing with those in London in terms of serving more destinations/becoming more of a hub. Also the N. of England as they'd have a good case for control of APD if Scotland did.

     

    As Shuggee points out some services (i imagine hourly) will carry on from Leeds to Edinburgh directly which will allow you guys from there to save the hour that it will save from Leeds to London.

     

    I agree but then if i was in a position of power i'd have HS2 go to Scotland (and Wales) in addition to scrapping air passenger duty nationwide. My idea is essentially the map below..

     

    post-1806-0-51341400-1382213555_thumb.gi

     

    It's interesting seeing who supports and opposes it. Within West Yorkshire we have five main councils (Halifax, Bradford, Wakefield, Kirkless, Leeds). Leeds naturally supports it and interestingly so does Kirklees (i presume the electrification to Huddersfield means they expect HS2 only to boost local service traffic or enhance Leeds-Manchester traffic that stops at Huddersfield), meanwhile Wakefield opposes it because they will lose the most from less ECML services to London and Bradford opposes it because they hate the way that Leeds booms as Bradford dies while Halifax council opposes it (along with Kirklees they have the least vested interest). 

    Edited by summer blizzard
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    Posted
  • Location: Near Lauder, SE Scotland, 175 m asl
  • Location: Near Lauder, SE Scotland, 175 m asl

    As Shuggee points out some services (i imagine hourly) will carry on from Leeds to Edinburgh directly which will allow you guys from there to save the hour that it will save from Leeds to London.

     

    I agree but then if i was in a position of power i'd have HS2 go to Scotland (and Wales) in addition to scrapping air passenger duty nationwide. My idea is essentially the map below..

     

    Posted Imagemap_great_britain 5.gif

     

    It's interesting seeing who supports and opposes it. Within West Yorkshire we have five main councils (Halifax, Bradford, Wakefield, Kirkless, Leeds). Leeds naturally supports it and interestingly so does Kirklees (i presume the electrification to Huddersfield means they expect HS2 only to boost local service traffic or enhance Leeds-Manchester traffic that stops at Huddersfield), meanwhile Wakefield opposes it because they will lose the most from less ECML services to London and Bradford opposes it because they hate the way that Leeds booms as Bradford dies while Halifax council opposes it (along with Kirklees they have the least vested interest). 

     

     

    I don't have have cause to travel to London as it's not important in Oil and gas so I'm not an expert...

     

    Leeds isn't on the East coast mainline?

     

    Posted Image

     

    Anyway, even if say the journey is one hour shorter, how is this clearly going to benefit Edinburgh?

     

    The vast majority of people in Scotland have no reason whatsoever to visit London. In fact if lots of people have to go to London all the time to maintain business in Scotland, then that just highlights why scotland should be independent. Are Norwegians desperate to have a good rail connection to London?

     

    How does allowing the few that do need to go an extra hour in bed for what could be an inflated price benefit the economy? Not only that, but it's going to cost Scots taxpayers at the minimum £4.2 billion when, as noted, most people in Scotland will rarely or ever use it. This is why polls suggest 2/10 for with 6/10 against. Upon Scottish independence, London would be even less relevant; little more so than Paris or Berlin.

     

    As I said, give 8.4% of whatever is spent on it in England to the Scottish Government to be fair and allow them to use it to e.g. upgrade Glasgow-Edinburgh-Aberdeen to HS2 (which would be much more beneficial) with an eye on extending that to the border should a connect-up look beneficial (and HS2 in England actually get anywhere close).

     

    Scotland is a different country. Right now it needs a hugely expensive (to build and ticket price I imagine) direct high speed rail connection with London about as much as Copenhagen does. London just isn't that important for business in Scotland and its domination of the UK economy is a bad thing. Jeez I work in one of largest single industries in Scotland and have been to London once on business in the past 13 years.

    Edited by scottish skier
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    Posted
  • Location: Leeds/Bradford border, 185 metres above sea level, around 600 feet
  • Location: Leeds/Bradford border, 185 metres above sea level, around 600 feet

    There's a Leeds-York spur on the transpennine stretch which connects services from the south (other than the Cross Country ones) to Leeds and then York. I think most services come from cross country now to Scotland but there are some (and used to be many) that go London-Leeds-Edinburgh. HS2 will also connect near Church Fenton,

     

    That's a good point but there are passengers who do for whatever reason.

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    Posted
  • Location: Near Lauder, SE Scotland, 175 m asl
  • Location: Near Lauder, SE Scotland, 175 m asl

    Ok, enough on train sets from me for now.

     

    White paper due on 26th November.

     

    Also, the arms are opened for currently pro-union MPs/MSPs to take roles in the independence negotiations should there be a Yes. After all, they are, for now / until independence politicians elected by the people of Scotland.

     

    http://archive.is/D7Dud

     

    "Maybe our two former first ministers and one former Labour, Tory and Lib Dem Secretary of State for Scotland, Michael Moore for example, could be included in the team negotiating the terms of independence and Scotland's relationship with the rest of the UK."
    His comments come after Deputy First Minister Nicola Sturgeon said unionist politicians would be invited to take part in the negotiations for Scotland to leave the UK if people voted for independence next September.
    Make your choice pro-union MPs/MSPs. Up to 1/4 of you for example are not representing the views of your Labour constituents on the indy question. None of you, Labour, Tory or Lib are representing your voters properly on the subject of devo max either.
    Edited by scottish skier
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    Posted
  • Location: Coatbridge, North Lanarkshire (this lockdown) Freuchie, Fife (normally)
  • Weather Preferences: cold and snowy in winter, a good mix of weather the rest of the time
  • Location: Coatbridge, North Lanarkshire (this lockdown) Freuchie, Fife (normally)

     

    Ok, enough on train sets from me for now.

     

    White paper due on 26th November.

     

    Also, the arms are opened for currently pro-union MPs/MSPs to take roles in the independence negotiations should there be a Yes. After all, they are, for now / until independence politicians elected by the people of Scotland.

     

    http://archive.is/D7Dud

     

    "Maybe our two former first ministers and one former Labour, Tory and Lib Dem Secretary of State for Scotland, Michael Moore for example, could be included in the team negotiating the terms of independence and Scotland's relationship with the rest of the UK."
    His comments come after Deputy First Minister Nicola Sturgeon said unionist politicians would be invited to take part in the negotiations for Scotland to leave the UK if people voted for independence next September.
    Make your choice pro-union MPs/MSPs. Up to 1/4 of you for example are not representing the views of your Labour constituents on the indy question. None of you, Labour, Tory or Lib are representing your voters properly on the subject of devo max either.

     

     

    I caught that speech - a typically concilliatory approach from Andrew Wilson where he re-emphasised that the basis of a Yes vote was about a rejection Westminster politics and not of British or English identity (although it might strengthen the latter even more in England, which is a rather different issue) and the whole post-indy 'team Scotland' idea. I think, as hard as it is to see at the moment with all their nonsense, that we do have to make clear that post independence all are, at least, welcome to contribute to the early days of our better nation. Whether or not the likes of Sarwar and Ian Davidson would be able to put the bitterness of the campaign behind them quickly enough to get on with the business of negotiating the best settlement for us is an open question, but it's in their interests, our interests and the countries interests for them to work constructively to get the best deal for Scotland. And if, in the 8 months between the referendum and the 2015 election, any of the unionists are reticent or choose not to engage with the reality of our constitutional future, I'm sure the electorate will do them the honour of removing them before they have to go anyway in 2016.

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    Posted
  • Location: Highland Scotland
  • Location: Highland Scotland

    If HS2 was an English rather than 'UK' project, then barnet consquentials would mean the bulk of the £4-£5billion Scottish tax payers are being asked to contribute (to damage their own economy) would return via the Scottish block grant - of course voting YES would stop the money ever being siphoned off for the benefit of the SE in the first place.

    Such funding would allow many projects across Scotland that would deliver far greater time savings than HS2 purports to deliver.It could allow the following projects to go ahead and maybe still not spend the whole lot:

    Speed improvements and electrification of the ECML between Aberdeen and Edinburgh.

    The Orton Loop on the Inverness - Aberdeen line that would provide a lengthy stretch of double track for dynamic passing and permit hourly trains from Inverness and Aberdeen and the new signalling that could see a half hourly service from Inverurie to Aberdeen and Elgin to Inverness. In 1994 ScotRail stated the Orton Loop would allow Inverness - Aberdeen trains on the hour, every hour taking just 90 minutes end to end with every station called at (a time saving of about 43 minutes on the fastest current train and almost an hour on the slowest). Also reopening of Kintore and Kittybrewster stations and a new Dalcross station for Inverness airport.

    A Dornoch Firth Rail bridge could knock an hour off Inverness - Thurso train times (but imo only if the Lairg Loop services are also protected).

    Reopening of the Inverkeithing-Halbeath-Bridge of Earn direct railway to Perth, which reduce Journey times between Edinburgh and Perth by 35 minutes, even a bit more if electrified from the outset.

    Complete the Highland Main Line Improvements that includes line speed enhancements and additional double tracked dynamic loops, allowing hourly services to/from Inverness and a journey time reduction of 35 minutes between Inverness and Perth. Estimates are that faster accelerating diesels trains than the class 170 turbostors could knock 10mins of the time and electrification and/or tilting trains could improve that figure to a 20 minute additional reduction through new rolling stock.

    Taken together the combined electrification of and HML improvements, new electric rolling stock and the reopening of the direct Edinburgh - Perth Railway would reduce Inverness - Edinburgh journey times by 1hr 30minutes to the 2 hour mark which would be transformational.

    Edited by skifreak
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    Posted
  • Location: Paris suburbs
  • Location: Paris suburbs

    I don't have have cause to travel to London as it's not important in Oil and gas so I'm not an expert...

     

    Leeds isn't on the East coast mainline?

     

    Posted Image

     

    Anyway, even if say the journey is one hour shorter, how is this clearly going to benefit Edinburgh?

     

    The vast majority of people in Scotland have no reason whatsoever to visit London. In fact if lots of people have to go to London all the time to maintain business in Scotland, then that just highlights why scotland should be independent. Are Norwegians desperate to have a good rail connection to London?

     

    How does allowing the few that do need to go an extra hour in bed for what could be an inflated price benefit the economy? Not only that, but it's going to cost Scots taxpayers at the minimum £4.2 billion when, as noted, most people in Scotland will rarely or ever use it. This is why polls suggest 2/10 for with 6/10 against. Upon Scottish independence, London would be even less relevant; little more so than Paris or Berlin.

     

    As I said, give 8.4% of whatever is spent on it in England to the Scottish Government to be fair and allow them to use it to e.g. upgrade Glasgow-Edinburgh-Aberdeen to HS2 (which would be much more beneficial) with an eye on extending that to the border should a connect-up look beneficial (and HS2 in England actually get anywhere close).

     

    Scotland is a different country. Right now it needs a hugely expensive (to build and ticket price I imagine) direct high speed rail connection with London about as much as Copenhagen does. London just isn't that important for business in Scotland and its domination of the UK economy is a bad thing. Jeez I work in one of largest single industries in Scotland and have been to London once on business in the past 13 years.

    I'd hugely dispute this. There's no pretending otherwise: London and the south-east are irreversibly dominant and it's not just Scotland that requires good transport links to it, it's every country in the EU.

    I'm not sure what's made you think that Scots have 'no need' to visit London any more or less so than, say, those from the north of England or Belgium. Oil might form a large part of Scotland's economy but a large majority of Scots aren't involved in it, and over in Glasgow it's invisible.

    It's difficult to say whether a transport link away from London balances out the UK economy or makes it more London-centric.

    Edited by Harve
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    Posted
  • Location: Near Lauder, SE Scotland, 175 m asl
  • Location: Near Lauder, SE Scotland, 175 m asl

    I'm not sure what's made you think that Scots have 'no need' to visit London any more or less so than, say, those from the north of England or Belgium. 

     

    I didn't say that at all. I merely meant what you said. The average person living in Scotland has little or no reason to visit London although one would expect that visits there are slightly higher per head of population than those from e.g. Belgium but less than for N. England. The vast majority of people in Scotland don't travel to London regularly - they have no reason to whatsoever - and many of those that might e.g. make a yearly visit to the area, may do so only to visit family, not on business.

     

    Of course for the minority higher on the business ladder, London would be a more common destination than e.g. Berlin, simply as London is the administrative capital of the UK so many corporate offices are there in addition to a large market. However, as noted, for a call centre worker, a plasterer, a nurse, a teacher, a supermarket worker... London just isn't a business destination. These are the types of jobs most people have.

     

    People in Scotland, in contrast, have much more reason to visit Scottish cities on business, civil matters, or pleasure. Edinburgh is the administrative capital with respect to civil and criminal law, e.g. the high court, the register general. It houses numerous consulates so people like my wife go there to get a passport. Business start-ups may go to Glasgow to SDI's headquarters...

     

    HS2 would be something only a fraction of the Scottish population ever used on a regular basis and saving a small amount of time for them is hardly going to be a major boost to the Scottish economy. Within Scotland high speed rail would be very beneficial, connecting that to London far lower in priority.

     

    What 'importance' London does have is damaging. It is the growth of London / the SE that has held back the economies of Scotland, Wales and N. England; nobody seriously disputes this.

     

    And HS2 is a link to London, not away. That's why all the talk is like 'Oh yes, journey times from Edinburgh to London would be reduced by XX mins', not the other way around. London is having it's commuter belt extended primarily.

     

    For most businesses in Scotland, easy travel access to London isn't that important, certainly not so in terms of just shaving tens of minutes of journey times. In terms of railways, 91% of journeys are within Scotland. The remainder go to the north of England (4.5%) and London (4.5%). This statistic alone shows how travel to London is not way up there in terms of priorities for improvement.

     

    http://www.transportscotland.gov.uk/strategy-and-research/publications-and-consultations/j251205-089.htm

     

    Also:

     

    http://www.scotland.gov.uk/Publications/2010/12/17120002/162

     

     

    The TMfS also produces estimates of the number of trips which are made by car, bus or train across the border with England. These suggest that, on an average weekday, around 8,000 people travel each way between Scotland and places in Yorkshire and South East England, about 5,000 travel each way between Scotland and places in Northumberland, and over 6,000 people travel to and from South West England and Wales. Table 11.28)

     

    So 0.36% of people in Scotland regularly travel across the border as part of their day to day lives.

     

    If Scotland becomes independent, London will be even less important and e.g. Coca-Cola Scotland will have corporate offices in e.g. Edinburgh or Glasgow, what with Scotland now being a different country with a different tax regime.

     

     

     

    EDIT. Note with regards to oil, the industry may seem invisible in Glasgow but Glasgow is very visible in the industry. It's one of the most common accents you'll hear, notably offshore. 196,000 people in Scotland work in the industry which is not far off the entire population of Aberdeen, Scotland's third largest city. Better to improve connections to it than London.

     

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    If you want to better improve Scotland's business and tourism links to the outside world, then devolve APD.

     

    http://www.scotland.gov.uk/News/Releases/2013/04/air-passenger-duty-devolution-essential-to-growth1

     

    “The level of air passenger duty is so uncompetitive, that it hurts the economy as a whole – not just the aviation sector. And its reduction would boost the economy as a whole. PWC suggested its abolition would boost exports by 5 per cent in total over the next three years, increase the UK’s GDP by £5 billion a year, and create approximately 60,000 jobs.

     

    ...With responsibility for this tax, Scotland could provide extra help to our tourism industry, make flights cheaper for passengers, boost our connectivity and so encourage business investment – indeed York Aviation’s study estimated that air passenger duty will cost Scotland more than £200 million a year in lost tourism spend alone by 2016.

     

    Very little cost involved in doing that too.

     

    UK government of course not going for it though.

     

    http://news.stv.tv/scotland/224197-calls-for-devolution-of-air-duty-ahead-of-glasgow-commonwealth-games/

     

    Gordon Dewar, chief executive of Edinburgh Airport, said airlines are questioning the viability of basing planes in Scotland because of APD.

     

    He said: "This tax has now hit its tipping point where the damage that it is doing to Scotland far outweighs the benefits. It cannot stand and must be reviewed as a matter of urgency.

    "Airlines are telling us that they are seeing it have an impact on passenger flows which is ultimately having an impact on their decision making on where to put planes. This means that our country has to work harder to get the connections it requires.

     

    "The evidence lays bare the argument that this tax is assisting with the deficit. Rather, APD is hindering our ability to tackle the economic challenges Scotland faces."

     

     

    You wouldn't want to make areas outside London and the SE more competitive now would you.

    Edited by scottish skier
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  • Location: Highland Scotland
  • Location: Highland Scotland

    FWIW I do think there should be a full North South High Speed line reaching at least the central belt and not just providing access to London, but easy connections to HS1 and transcontinental services, ideally some services through the tunnel from Scotland - irrespective of independence or not. However HS2 increasingly looks like the wrong concept for the wrong reasons and funding it as UK infrastructure when it patently is not is a disgrace.

    With regards visiting London in the past 10 years I've been in London on 12 occasions, 2 were day trips by the ScotRail Sleeper to obtain US work visas from the US Embassy. The other 10 were for 5 trips to North America which involved transiting through Heathrow (either by train to London from Inverness or flying from Aberdeen to Heathrow). With Independence I'd envisage that if I had the same circumstances again then quite quickly I wouldn't be making any of those trips to London. I'd pop down to Edinburgh to get the Visa, and I'd get a suitable transatlantic flight from Edinburgh or Glasgow. The trans Atlantic flight would be about an hour shorter as a result and I wouldn't have a pointless journey to the South of England just to fly over the Cairngorms on the trans Atlantic flight!

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