On the slow track

Colin Maclean (Letters, 25 January) is right. The recent announcement from Lord Adonis, the UK Transport Secretary, on plans for the new east-coast rail service between Scotland and London merely shows once again that travellers from Scotland are particularly badly served. The Edinburgh-Newcastle section of the east-coast line is inadequate.

The average speed of even a non-stop journey between these two cities is a modest 75 mph, some 40 mph slower than the average speed over a similar distance in central England.

Real reductions in east coast running times from Scotland will only be achieved when this segment of the line is upgraded and rerouted in places. Unfortunately, as long as cross-Border rail services are reserved matters within the gift of Westminster, it is unlikely such a project will materialise.

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For a decade now the Labour Party has been pledging track improvements and high-speed rail travel to the North, wherever that might be. However, Lord Adonis's message amounts simply to saying passengers will get to and from London more quickly if trains stop at fewer stations – hardly rocket science and certainly not progress.


Avon Road