20 May 2009
Barrett presses Brown on high speed rail pledge
John Barrett, Liberal Democrat MP for Edinbrgh West, today pressed the Prime Minister to commit to an environmentally friendly high speed rail link between central Scotland and London.
During Prime Ministers Questions, Mr Barrett challenged the Gordon Brown to guarantee that Scotland would be included in any High Speed Rail proposals. Mr Brown gave no assurances, but said that the Government was looking in to the issue.
Mr Barrett said:
“With unemployment passing 2 million, one way to create jobs, stimulate the economy, and cut down on our emissions would be to invest in a High Speed Rail network.
“I have been calling for a High Speed Rail link for many years but even if we win the argument there is a serious concern that the Government will only construct a line that will go no further than Leeds or Manchester.
“We have seen from other European countries the benefits of a High Speed Rail Network that reaches every region in the creation of better social, political, and economic integration.
“Clearly, a UK-wide High Speed Rail Network would require a United Kingdom. In an independent Scotland it would be impossible to make a good enough business or economic case to extend any high speed rail network to the border.”