Cutting off the Energy city

It is more than a little ironic that barely two weeks after business leaders wrote to Transport Minister Stewart Stevenson demanding urgent action to improve the offshore energy capital’s transport connections, news percolates from London that direct rail services from London to Aberdeen might be axed.

Swiss train
Switzerland shows how a rail network should be run

It is little consolation to find out that the Scottish Transport Minister is equally upset by this particular proposal. At the end of the day, it will be the economy locally and nationally that suffers if the politicians play political football with our future.

Just when it seemed that the coalition government was perhaps more aware of the economic significance of the Aberdeen-based oil and gas industry, as the UK’s biggest industrial investor, it appears that another arm of the same government may be considering damaging the host city’s competitiveness by stopping trains at Glasgow and Edinburgh!

Far from damaging the competitiveness of Aberdeen, as the centre of an industry that supports half-a-million UK jobs and contributes the equivalent of 30% of the UK’s entire corporation tax, economic recovery would be better served by ensuring this industry benefits from a competitive transport infrastructure.

The industry should be able to supply 60% of the oil and gas needed for the UK in 2020. But, only if David Cameron and the Conservative Liberal Democrat coalition and the Scottish Government recognise there is an infrastructure deficit that needs improved, not hindered.
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