Ministers should deliver on railway promise



18 January 2019



North East Labour MSP Lewis Macdonald has today called on the Scottish Government to deliver on its promise to dual the line at Montrose – the only stretch of single-track railway on the East Coast Line between Aberdeen and London.

In January 2016, the SNP’s then Cabinet Secretary for Infrastructure, Investment and Cities, Keith Brown, promised £200m to improve rail connections south of Aberdeen, saying that this would support improvements to the strategic rail network including “double tracking at key pinch points” between Aberdeen and the Central Belt.

However, in response to a question from Lewis Macdonald in Parliament today, the current Cabinet Secretary for Transport, Michael Matheson, appeared to cast doubt on his Government’s commitment to dualling the railway line between Usan and Montrose.

Lewis said:

“Three years ago, Ministers gave a clear commitment to double-track the line at Montrose. Rather than backtracking on this promise, the Government should tell us how they intend to bring forward this much-needed improvement to the East Coast Line.

“Michael Matheson told MSPs today that the Government still intends to invest £200m in the infrastructure of the railway line between Aberdeen and Dundee. The Government needs to recognise the most important improvement to infrastructure is to have a double-track railway all the way from Aberdeen to Dundee, and it should set out its plans to take that forward without further delay.”