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Chamber and committees

Question ref. S6W-03991
Asked by: Richard Leonard, Central Scotland, Scottish Labour
Date lodged: 26 October 2021 Registered interest

Question

To ask the Scottish Government whether it will provide an update on any progress that has been made towards retaining skilled rail infrastructure workers in Scotland.

Current status: Answered by Graeme Dey on 15 November 2021


Answer

Network Rail is responsible for maintaining and renewing the rail network across the UK including Scotland. While the Scottish Government fund Network Rail north of border, its operations are a reserved matter therefore any questions on employment issues would be for UK Ministers.

Our view remains that a fully devolved, public sector controlled and better integrated railway would deliver more for Scotland’s economy and communities. The UK government is more than aware of our position and, yet, the Williams-Shapps proposals not only ignore these requests, they add further complexity in terms of how GB/devolved operations will interface.

Despite these complexities, we are future proofing Scotland’s rail network through our Strategic Transport Projects Review 2 and our Rail Services Decarbonisation Action Plan. Our work to remove diesel services by 2035, through a mix of electrification and alternative powered trains, will create more skilled and sustainable jobs which can provide a significant contribution to our economy.

Further information on the decarbonisation action plan can be accessed via:- rail-services-decarbonisation-action-plan.pdf (transport.gov.scot)