Scotland politics

Keith Brown urges Boris Johnson to push for high-speed rail to Scotland

Image caption The HS2 line promises to cut train journey times

The re-elected London mayor, Boris Johnson, has been urged to push for a high-speed rail link to Scotland.

Scottish Transport Minister Keith Brown has written to Mr Johnson, and all the newly-elected council chiefs in the north of England.

He wants discuss with them the benefits of a UK-wide fast rail network.

It is estimated taking the new line north of the border could cut as much as two hours from journey times between Glasgow and London.

The first phase of the new rail link, known as HS2, will end at Birmingham.

Mr Brown has sent a request for a meeting to 54 local authorities.

He said: "There is no better way for these new council leaders to prove they are progressive and working for the future of their local areas than to show their support for a high-speed rail line which would benefit the whole of the UK.

"The Scottish government looks forward to a future where Scotland stands on its own two feet as a nation, fully connected with its neighbouring communities.

"High-speed rail will play a huge part in that and sits squarely with this government's two defining policy objectives: to increase the rate of Scotland's economic growth and to develop a low carbon economy which leads the world in its ambition."

He added: "I have issued this invitation to show that Scotland is more than capable of taking the lead on innovation and partnership working, and because most local authorities north of London have already voiced their support for our proposals.

"I would hope that Mr Johnson will also see how London can only realise the full potential of high-speed rail when it connects all the way to Scotland."

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