THE Scottish Government has been accused of “dropping” flagship plans for a bullet train between Glasgow and Edinburgh after it emerged no meetings have been held about the proposals for more than a year.
“We will not wait for Westminster to bring high-speed rail to us,” she told a Glasgow conference in 2012.
But ministers have since been forced to admit that Scotland will have to wait for the HS2 route coming north from England before such a service can be put in place.
And calls for the business case for the route to be released under Freedom of Information laws have now been rejected by ministers – despite about £750,000 having been spent on the proposals so far.
Liberal Democrat leader Willie Rennie said: “What the SNP government want is to keep this hidden so people can’t see them rewriting history. They want people to forget that they made a ridiculous promise to have a bullet train up and running between Edinburgh and Glasgow before HS2 had even got as far as Birmingham, let alone Scotland. They have quite clearly scrapped those plans given they haven’t met on a single occasion to discuss them over the past year.”
Transport Scotland chiefs say the request to release the report was declined because the public may be “misinformed” unfinished or incomplete information is disclosed.
A Transport Scotland spokesman said a draft study in 2014 made clear the bullet train depended on the cross-border high speed rail line.
“This is due to the requirement to maximise economic benefits by sharing as much track as possible to minimise cost to the public purse,” he added. Since the Broad Options Study undertaken by HS2 Ltd, which identifies the preferred options for cross border routes, was still underway and had yet to identify options for extending High Speed Rail into Scotland, the focus moved to identifying a high speed link coming up from the south.”