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Minister calls for Holyrood to unite on rail deal

Published: 16 Oct 2017 00:01
Part of:
Transport

Demand for fair funding for Scotland's railway

Humza Yousaf, Minister for Transport and the Islands has today reiterated his concerns over the UK Treasury’s approach to rail funding for the next Control Period (2019-2024).

The funding change unilaterally announced by the UK Government moves away from the agreed devolved settlement (11.17%), which is based on the size of the Scottish rail network, as confirmed by the independent rail regulator at the point of devolution in 2005 and formally agreed by between the Scottish and UK Governments at that time.

In writing a letter to opposition parties, the Minister will outline his concerns about the process taken by the UK Treasury and the level of funding offered.

Mr Yousaf said:

“My colleague, Derek Mackay, wrote to the Chief Secretary to the Treasury on 25th September with our reasonable ask on rail funding. The UK Government’s response was received after close of business the day before the Statement of Funds Available was due to be published. This is no way to conduct business, and as a consequence the Scottish Government has had to seek an extension of the regulatory deadline for the Statement.

“The UK Government has departed from our agreed funding formula leaving Scotland’s railways £600m short. This will undoubtedly impact upon our ability to enhance Scotland’s rail network.

“It is of critical importance to Scotland’s communities and businesses that we secure a fair financial settlement, which enables the Scottish rail industry to plan for the future with certainty. I am writing to political parties across the chamber to seek their support in calling for fair funding for our railways – I hope they will join with me in standing up for Scotland’s rail network.

“I would urge the UK Government to begin serious and detailed dialogue with us on this issue as a matter of urgency.”