Reform Scotland, the independent, non-party think tank, has released written evidence which it has sent to Transport Scotland's Rail Infrastructure Strategy Consultation.
The evidence has been submitted on behalf of Reform Scotland by Tom Harris, the former Labour Transport Minister in the UK Government and now a Reform Scotland Advisory Board member.
In wide-ranging evidence, Mr Harris suggests that:
Commenting, Tom Harris said:
"We are in danger of missing the bigger picture when it comes to discussing rail in Scotland. We talk in very narrow terms about ScotRail and its operation, but what we actually need is an injection of some creative, strategic thinking so that we can give the Scottish people a rail system built for the future and one to be proud of." Reform Scotland believes that the Scottish Government should create a Scottish Rail Infrastructure Commission to examine what ambitious transformational projects and new railway lines we need to boost the Scottish economy and transform our connectivity as a nation.
"The Borders Railway showed us that there is an appetite for new railways in Scotland, but it also showed us that our thinking is too small and our planning too short-term. That ship has now sailed, but we must learn the lessons from it, think big, and plan long, and that is why the need for a Commission is now critical."
Reform Scotland is an independent 'think-tank', describing itself as "a public policy institute which works to promote increased economic prosperity and more effective public services based on the principles of limited government, diversity and personal responsibility"
We publish their response to Transport Scotland's Rail Infrastructure Strategy Consultation alongside our own, as an interesting, and different, view on this subject.