Wednesday, 26 August 2009



Shirley-Anne Somerville, a member of the Scottish Parliament's Transport Committee, today welcomed the Network Rail report

which proposes a £34billion High Speed Railway line connecting Edinburgh and Glasgow to London and challenged UK parties to commit to the line.

Her Westminster colleague SNP Business and Enterprise spokesman Mike Weir also backed the line for the economic benefits it can deliver to Scotland.

The proposal would cut journey times from Edinburgh to London from 4hrs 23minutes to 2 hours and 9 minutes.

The Scottish Parliament's Transport Committee has already endorsed a high speed rail line connecting Scotland to London.

Edinburgh and Lothians MSP Ms Somerville said;

"I welcome this detailed study from Network Rail which lays out the clear case for a high speed line running between
Scotland and London.

"Scotland needs faster and better rail connections to London and Europe, and we need to get to work now to make it happen.

"Labour's current commitment to a high speed line goes no further than Birmingham, with vague options to extend north at a later date.

"We need firm commitments from both Labour and the Conservatives that they back a high speed line to Scotland as a priority

"To cut carbon emissions we need to dramatically increase passengers using our railways, and a high speed link is the best way to meet that challenge.

"The Scottish Government have made their support clear, the question is will the UK parties play their part.

SNP Westminster Business and Enterprise Spokesman and MP for Angus Mike Weir MP added;

"This line could have immense benefits for Scottish business. Cutting journey times and costs between the Scotland and London would be a real boost to our economy.

"A journey time of 2 hours 9minutes from Edinburgh to the centre of London offers an attractive alternative to a short-term flight.

"This would enhance sustainable growth, cutting carbon emissions whilst supporting travel across the country.

"This is a long term project, that requires an early commitment to make it happen. It's time for Labour to stop dilly-dallying and start building railways fit for the 21st Century"

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