The Cabinet Secretary for the Rural Economy and Tourism was today challenged by Edward Mountain MSP to confirm when the Cairngorm Funicular Railway will be repaired and operational again.
During a session of the Scottish Parliament’s Portfolio Questions, Edward Mountain asked: “Your enthusiasm for tourism does you credit and it is critical to the Highlands. Can you tell me when the funicular railway will be operational - is it 2024, 2025, 2026 or later?”
The Cabinet Secretary replied: “I can assure the member and all members across all parties that HIE is working extremely hard to develop a masterplan to scheme out a sustainable future, economically and environmentally, for the funicular railway in Cairngorm. They are doing a power of work here, they are also currently consulting with local communities.”
He added: “Mr Mountain knows that there is complex engineering matters and solutions which must be worked through properly and that the costings to remedy the work that needs to be done to put matters right have to be very carefully assembled. I can assure him however that that work is underway, and I have undertaken previously to report to Parliament periodically and, finally just to say this, I give my absolute commitment that the Scottish Government is determined to find a solution because we are well aware of the huge importance of the funicular railway for all year round visitors to this part of Scotland and we are working across portfolios extremely hard to deliver a long-term successful, viable solution so that once again we see Cairngorm providing excellent opportunities, in both Winter and Summer.”
Following the Portfolio Questions, Edward Mountain MSP said:
“The Cabinet Secretary gave no assurances as to when the Funicular Railway will be operational again. There was no denial from him that it could be 2026 or later. This is deeply concerning.
With the Scottish Government’s reductions to this year’s HIE budget and no set date for the repair of the funicular it looks like residents, businesses and tourists could be waiting years for the funicular to run again.”