South Scotland MSP Colin Smyth has called on the Scottish Government to commit to 100 per cent electrification of the rail network in the south of Scotland.
Speaking during a debate on Decarbonising Scotland’s Transport in the Scottish Parliament on Thursday, the local MSP also demanded answers from Transport Minister Graeme Dey about why the Government’s plans for electrification of the railway exclude many parts of the network, including the stretch between Girvan and Stranraer.
Colin Smyth said: “Does the minister acknowledge that the Government’s plans for the electrification of our railways exclude many parts of the network, including the stretch from Girvan to Stranraer?
“There are genuine fears over what that means for the long-term commitment to routes that are already facing significant cuts in services from next year.
“Surely we need a long-term commitment to a rolling programme of electrification going up to 2035 and beyond, until we get 100 per cent electrification of the network.”
Speaking after the debate, Colin continued: “In response to my question, Graeme Dey seemed not to know that the section between Girvan and Stranraer has been excluded, he said he was ‘concerned’ and would get back to me.
“It is shocking that a minister doesn’t even know his own government’s plans and I am glad I raised the issue. I will continue to press for a full electrification of the rail network across the south of Scotland and I will ensure that my constituency is not left behind.”