The railway network in Scotland will receive £4 billion as part of Network Rail’s spending plans for Control Period 6 (CP6).
As part of the final determination set out by the Office of Rail and Road (ORR) which approved the investment strategy on the railways for five years from April 2019, the money set aside for Scotland will make the railway much more reliable and ensure there is a real focus on the needs of passengers.
In total, Great Britain will receive £35 billion to improve the infrastructure of the railways – the largest ever investment in the sector.
Of this, Scotland will receive £4 billion.
In the final determination, the ORR has made it clear what Network Rail must do to deliver the rail service required in the country, which reflects what was set out by the Scottish government in its High Level Output Specification (HLOS).
This includes the measures to improve journey times for passengers and freight operators, so that the punctuality target of 92.5% is hit.
Network Rail must take steps to make rail freight more attractive to businesses across Scotland, ensuring there is 7.5% growth by the end of the funding period.
Stronger framework has been set up by the ORR, holding the Scotland route to account by ensuring all requirements in the HLOS are incorporated into a new route tracker; making changes to Network Rail’s licence to make all parts of the business clearly accountable for its work; changing how it monitors whether or not efficiency improvements will be delivered; and making public comparisons about how the Scotland route is shaping up against other routes throughout CP6.
Scotland will also benefit from increased investment in research & development, with £26 million allocated from the GB-wide fund of £245 million.
John Larkinson, Chief Executive of the ORR, said that the plans mean “that Network Rail, the Scotland route and the system operator can now implement their plans to deliver a service which passengers and freight customers rightly demand and deserve.”