NPF2 Action Programme – Action 3

Back to National Planning Framework 2 - Action Programme


Develop High Speed Rail Link to London.

NPF2 Paragraph Reference

105, 120, 121, 192, Map 10, Annex - National Development 3.

Contribution to NPF Strategy

  • Expands opportunities for communities and businesses by promoting environmental quality and good connectivity.
  • Strengthens links with the rest of the world.
  • Promotes more sustainable patterns of travel, transport and land use.
  • Helps to reduce Scotland's carbon footprint and facilitates adaptation to climate change.
Milestones 2009-2012 - Discussions between Scottish Government with the UK Government on the development of a high speed link to reduce journey times between Central Scotland and London to under 3 hours and provide direct services to the Continent. Requirement for identification of route options, environmental assessment, appropriate assessment, and a supporting business case.

Lead Partner(s)/Delivery Bodies

Transport Scotland, High Speed 2 (HS2), Department for Transport (DfT)

Glasgow City Council, Edinburgh City Council
High Speed Two Ltd, DfT, Transport Scotland and Network Rail


June 2009 - Scottish stakeholder group established to develop a Scottish Strategic Business Case for high speed rail. 

October 2009 - Business Case submitted to HS2.

April 2010 – HS2 instructed to examine the potential for expanding high-speed services to Scotland. 

August 27, 2010 - Edinburgh and Glasgow cities welcome Network Rail and Greengauge 21 reports which make a strong case for a north-south HSR network and highlight the benefits which will be realised by including Glasgow and Edinburgh.

December 21, 2010 - It is announced that direct trains could run from Edinburgh and Glasgow to the continent under revised plans for a high-speed rail network published by the UK Government.

February, 2011 – DfT propose that a new high speed line will be built between London and Birmingham by 2026, with second stage extensions to Leeds and Manchester by 2032. It is also proposed that from 2026, ‘hybrid’ high speed trains would operate to and from Scotland, running on conventional track between Scotland and Birmingham.  Plans for a second phase of development, extending separately to Manchester and Leeds, are expected to be completed during 2012.

July, 2011 – Scottish Partnership Group for High Speed Rail formed to refresh the overall business case for high speed rail to Scotland. Meetings scheduled for August 26, 2011, September 16, 2011, October 7, 2011 and October 28, 2011.

Dec, 2011 - Scottish Partnership Group published its case for high speed rail to Scotland: ‘Fast Track Scotland’. Scottish Ministers have asked that the remit of HS2 Ltd, be extended to include detailed planning of  the route to and within Scotland.