The UK government’s Transport Secretary Chris Grayling said Britain’s new high speed rail lines (HS2) between London and the North-West of England will also benefit Scotland.
Grayling said HS2 would create business opportunities for Scotland and provide a boost in jobs and skills — and mean thousands of extra seats on faster trains to Glasgow and Edinburgh from London.
The UK Department for Transport said: “HS2 will give an economic boost to Scotland, with the decision to award £6.6 billion of contracts to build Phase One of HS2 being announced today – supporting 16,000 jobs across the UK.
“More than 100 Scottish business have already expressed interested in these opportunities and we continue to encourage interested businesses to put bids in.
“Scotland will be well served by HS2: Phase One, between London Euston and Birmingham, will see faster trains onward to Glasgow, to under 4 hours.
“By 2027, and the opening of the expansion of the network to Crewe, the journey between Glasgow and London will be reduced by 45 minutes compared to today.
“By 2033 journey times between London and Glasgow and Edinburgh will be reduced to around 3 hours and 40 minutes.”
Grayling said: “Britain’s new railway line will bring huge economic benefits to Scotland and help ensure this government delivers on its promise to spread wealth beyond London and the south-east.
“But as well as creating skilled jobs, apprenticeships and business opportunities, it will also mean real day-to-day improvements for passengers.
“I am delighted that my announcements today will unlock the full benefits of HS2 to Scotland and the north of England.
“The UK and Scottish governments have been working closely with Network Rail and HS2 Ltd to ensure passengers in Scotland benefit from faster and more frequent trains.”