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Transport Links: Scotland and the North-east of England

Volume 708: debated on Wednesday 2 February 2022

7. What steps he is taking to improve transport links between Scotland and the north-east of England to promote economic growth. (905317)

The Union connectivity review recognised the importance of the A1 and recommended that the UK Government should seek to work with the Scottish Government to develop an assessment of the east coast road and rail corridor. The Government will respond to the UCR and publish that response in due course.

On the day that the levelling-up agenda has been published, will the Secretary of State tell the House what steps he is taking to devolve powers and finance to the northern regions, so that we can strengthen ties with the Holyrood Government independently of Westminster, so increasing rail capacity, trade and opportunities for business?

I know how passionate the hon. Gentleman is about transport matters as I had the pleasure of serving with him on the Select Committee on Transport for a number of years. If he reads through the levelling-up White Paper, which came out today—I appreciate that it is quite a weighty tome, so he might not have had a chance to digest it all yet—he will see in that the measures to which he is referring. We can encourage better connectivity between the different economic centres of the UK. I would be absolutely delighted to see a strengthening of that corridor between Scotland and the north-east of England.