Assurances sought

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ANGUS MP Mike Weir is seeking assurances from the UK Transport Secretary that the proposed new private franchise for the East Coast rail line will “at the very least” include guarantees for the continuation of services north of Edinburgh.

Mr Weir said: “The written statement announces the proposal to franchise the East Coast line as part of a general review of franchises but gives no further detail. It is vital that the Transport Department understands the importance of rail links to our communities. The East Coast rail line gives Montrose, Arbroath and Aberdeenshire a direct rail link to major cities in Eastern England and to London. It is important to business and tourism.

“Previous suggestions that the service terminate at Edinburgh have been fought off.

“The UK government’s proposals for High Speed Rail is a massive investment of public money but only goes as far as Birmingham. We need to ensure that we retain services north of Edinburgh to take advantage of any improved times on the East Coast line and eventual connection to high speed services.”