News story

Huge economic boost for Scotland as Transport Secretary confirms new HS2 routes

HS2 will mean faster journeys for passengers travelling to and from Scotland.

High speed train.
  • HS2 route decision set to bring massive economic boost to Scotland
  • thousands of extra seats and faster trains to Glasgow and Edinburgh
  • improved connections between Scotland, the north and midlands of England, and London

Transport Secretary Chris Grayling today (17 July 2017) confirmed Britain’s new high speed rail lines which will create business opportunities, a boost in jobs and skills and thousands of extra seats on faster trains to Glasgow and Edinburgh from London.

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. Transport secretary Chris 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.

UK Government minister Ian Duncan said:

The confirmation of these new routes is fantastic news. HS2 will mean faster journeys for passengers travelling to and from Edinburgh, Glasgow and further afield – and it is a real opportunity for the highly skilled Scottish companies who will be bidding for contracts on this project.

High speed rail will also open up opportunities for Scottish businesses that export goods and services to England and Wales, as they reach their markets faster than ever before.

This is a landmark step in delivering HS2 – and it is good news for Scotland.

In March 2016 HS2 Ltd published a report called Broad options for upgraded and high speed railways to the north of England and Scotland. The report was welcomed by both governments and a joint commitment was made to work with Network Rail to identify suitable options that could further improve journey times, space and reliability on routes between England and Scotland.

We remain on track to open the link from London to Birmingham in 2026, the route to Crewe in 2027 and the route to Leeds in 2033. Preparatory work on Phase 1 has already commenced, with major construction starting next year.

More information

HS2 and major projects media enquiries

Published 17 July 2017