• Text size      
  • Send this article to a friend
  • Print this article

English councils back high speed rail extension

PLANS to extend a high- speed rail network to Scotland have won the strong support of councils, businesses and transport authorities in the north of England.

A survey of 32 key organisations showed that nearly 90% saw building a line north of Manchester and Leeds, which are due to have a high-speed rail connection to London by 2033, as important or very important.

A key driver is the belief that the East and West Coast Main Lines will be full by 2030, putting a strain on train journeys to Scotland.

The findings, due to be published today by high- speed lobby group Greengauge 21, provide a welcome boost for the Scottish Government's ambitions to be included in a UK network of new rail lines capable of carrying 250mph trains and follow Alex Salmond's calls for a "northern accord" to be forged between Scotland and the north of England.

Infrastructure Secretary Nicola Sturgeon announced plans earlier this week to push ahead with a new high-speed line connecting Glasgow and Edinburgh.

Jim Steer, an influential transport expert who founded Greengauge 21 in 2006 to push the case for high-speed rail, said a key question now emerging was how to bridge the "northern gap" between the planned high-speed network in England and the Scottish border.

The involvement of councils and transport authorities could be an important factor in this as they could have a role in deciding whether a high speed rail route is funded.

Contextual targeting label: 
Local government

Commenting & Moderation

We moderate all comments on HeraldScotland on either a pre-moderated or post-moderated basis.
If you're a relatively new user then your comments will be reviewed before publication and if we know you well and trust you then your comments will be subject to moderation only if other users or the moderators believe you've broken the rules

Moderation is undertaken full-time 9am-6pm on weekdays, and on a part-time basis outwith those hours. Please be patient if your posts are not approved instantly.