28 January 2009
Barrett turns up the heat on high speed rail
John Barrett, Liberal Democrat MP for Edinburgh West today called on Gordon Brown to commit to a high speed rail between Scotland and London.
Mr Barrett, a long-time campaigner for high speed rail, challenged the Prime Minister and the Scottish Government to deliver a high speed link linking Scotland and London in order to stimulate the economy and tackle climate change.
The Government at Westminster recently announced plans for a new electrified high speed rail line linking London, Birmingham and Heathrow as part of proposals for a third runway at Heathrow. Conservative proposals for a high speed link only go as far as Manchester and Leeds.
Speaking at Prime Ministers Questions, Mr Barrett said:
“One way to stimulate the economy in the north and south, tackle pollution, and reduce the demand for increased airport capacity would be to invest in a national high speed rail network. Why after 12 years of a Labour government are we still waiting?”
Mr Barrett added:
“Committing to the construction of high speed rail would create thousands of jobs in construction and engineering – some of the area hardest hit by rising unemployment.
“Moving passengers from air to rail would be good for the environment, cutting down on air pollution while freeing up capacity at Edinburgh airport for the long haul flights to America, the far East and elsewhere that benefit the City and Scotland.
“It is time for Ministers in Holyrood and Westminster to sit down and agree a funding package to bring high speed rail to Edinburgh and bring us into line with other European cities who have benefited from high speed rail connections for many years.”