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Improvements to Highland mainline and Far North Line called for by Highlands and Islands SNP MSP Emma Roddick

By Philip Murray

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Rail freight containers at Inverness Railway Station. Picture: Gary Anthony.
Rail freight containers at Inverness Railway Station. Picture: Gary Anthony.

VITAL improvements to the Far North Line and the Highland mainline would bring huge benefits to residents in the Highlands while also boosting business and the environment, a local MSP has argued.

Emma Roddick emphasised the importance of promoting freight by rail when she spoke at the Scottish Parliament today.

She raised the prospect and asked the Scottish Government whether this had been fully considered in the development of the second phase of Strategic Transport Projects Review 2, which will determine which transport projects in Scotland will be prioritised for funding.

Roddick has been pressing for the doubling of the Highland mainline and improvements to the Far North Line, claiming this would make moving freight long distances by rail more attractive.

She said: "It is imperative that we fund, expand, and utilise our vital rail connections.

“Doubling the Highland mainline and improving the Far North Line would both be better for the planet and create a wealth of opportunities within the region.

“Pushing for the decarbonisation of transport is important to me during my time as an MSP. I am pleased that the Minister for Transport agrees that promoting freight by rail is a priority in Scotland and I look forward to more detail in the weeks to come”.

STPR2 is expected to be published early next year following a consultation period.

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