Scottish high-speed rail link worth £20bn to the economy, MP insists

Mike Weir believes rail plans are crucial to stimulating business and jobs
Mike Weir believes rail plans are crucial to stimulating business and jobs
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Scotland should be included in plans for the high speed rail network, an SNP MP has told Transport Secretary Justine Greening.

Mike Weir also said he wanted to see a clear timetable for the line’s extension into Scotland. The line is due to link London and Birmingham in its first phase, and extend to Leeds by 2033.

Mr Weir said studies suggested that a high speed rail link to Scotland would boost the economy by some £20 billion.

In his letter, he wrote: “There is a stronger and more robust business case for the plans to be extended to Scotland from the outset.

“The Scottish Government has included high speed rail within its own infrastructure plans, and I am aware that talks have taken place between the two governments.

“I urge the UK government to commit to a firm timetable, work with the Scottish Government to bring this crucial long-term transport infrastructure to Scotland and to ensure Scotland is included in the plans from the outset, not left waiting for another generation.”

Mr Weir said: “This infrastructure is crucial for our long term transport future in Scotland, but existing UK government plans don’t go far enough.

“There is currently no scheduled commitment to extend the line beyond Leeds – keeping Scotland in the slow lane for another 20 years.

“Connecting Scottish cities is central to the business case for high-speed rail. It will stimulate jobs and help create growth, and play a crucial role in cutting carbon emissions.”