A new agreement will see Scotland and the north of England agree to work closer together to improve transport connectivity.
Infrastructure Secretary Keith Brown led a delegation of political, civic and transport chiefs in Newcastle where a Memorandum of Understanding was signed to enable a shared approach to achieving a transport network which will help realise the economic ambitions of Scotland and The Northern Powerhouse.
The document gives Scotland a voice in the Northern Transport Strategy being designed by the Transport for the North Partnership to inform Westminster’s ‘Northern Powerhouse’ plans, and sets out a joint ambition to “radically enhance transport connectivity within and between the North of England and Scotland”.
Mr Brown signed the MoU at the Improving Connectivity conference in the city, alongside Transport for the North’s Board member Councillor Nick Forbes.
“The Scottish Government believes that investment in Scotland’s transport is a key enabler for delivering sustainable growth by increasing competitiveness, supporting employment and opportunity. This commitment to investment in infrastructure can be seen in the great number of major transport projects we have delivered and are delivering – the Queensferry Crossing, the Aberdeen Western Peripheral Route and the Borders Railway.
Alongside these projects, extending a high speed rail link to Scotland will ensure that businesses in Scotland and the north of England are able to compete and grow, as well as boosting vital supply chain economies.
We recognise the strong connection we have with our neighbours in the north of England and that there are important flows of labour and goods across the border. Investment on one side of that border can affect economic outcomes on the other, and we can maximise the return on investment by sharing views, aspirations and plans.
I look forward to this Memorandum of Understanding contributing to a cross-border transport network that will benefit us all.”