Scottish first minister Alex Salmond said today the Scottish Government and bodies in the north of England should work together to help deliver High Speed 2 north of Leeds and Manchester.
Speaking at the North East Economic forum in Newcastle, Salmond said without working together the north of England and Scotland high speed rail plans risks being left a “hope left high and dry by Westminster”.
“The current proposals for high speed rail are promoted as being for a ‘UK network’ – but we know it is no such thing,” said Salmond. “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.”
He added there needs to be an “urgent review” in current high speed plans to ensure it can be delivered faster and beyond Birmingham.
Salmond’s plea comes after Transport Scotland announced plans to construct a high speed rail link between Edinburgh and Glasgow by 2024 - ten years before the rest of high speed network is due to reach Scotland.