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14.11.12

‘Gaping need’ for high speed rail in Scotland – Salmond

Scotland’s first minister Alex Salmond has called for the north of England and Scotland to work together to boost their economies and press for an extension of HS2.

Addressing the North East Economic Forum, Salmond urged business leaders and agencies to work with Transport Scotland to push for HS2 to be continued up to Scotland. The current plans would only see HS2 reach Leeds.

Salmond said: “The current proposals for high speed rail are promoted as being for a ‘UK network’ – but we know it is no such thing. Neither Edinburgh nor Newcastle, Glasgow nor Liverpool feature in the Department for Transport’s proposals for this link and it is clear there is no urgency from the South East to recognise this gaping need.

“Scotland and the North East have strong economies which could be stronger with better links to each other and a well developed, efficient and resilient rail network provides our businesses with the certainty they need to invest, and supports the strong bonds we have.

Which is why we need an urgent review of the current high speed rail plans to ensure it can be delivered faster – and beyond Birmingham.

“It is critical that we do not allow our needs to be shelved in favour of a south-centric project which will leave the north of these islands cut off from the rest of Europe.”

His plea comes after the Scottish Government announced plans for a high-speed rail link between Edinburgh and Glasgow. However, the plans did not specify a route or cost.

Tell us what you think – have your say below, or email us directly at opinion@railtechnologymagazine.com

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