Alex Salmond is calling for the Borders Railway to be extended to Carlisle to help the economic recovery after the pandemic.
The Alba Party leader also suggested the A77 from Ayr to Stranraer should be made a dual carriageway to “turbo boost” the recovery in the south of Scotland.
At a campaign event at Melrose Abbey to launch his new party’s South Scotland campaign, Mr Salmond will argue that Scottish independence is needed to provide the “financial clout” to fund big infrastructure projects such as railway and road expansions.
The former first minister is expected to say: “By investing in major capital investment projects like these we can bring not only improved transport links but many more jobs, businesses and tourist visitors to the Borders and the south of Scotland.
“As we emerge from Covid, it cannot be a case of business as usual or of small-scale, incremental changes.
“We need to think big if we are to bring about a sustainable economic recovery, breathe new life into our towns and villages and spread the economic benefits out of the central belt.
“Alba is offering the most ambitious and radical manifesto of any party in this election to do just that.
“While the SNP drags its feet and the Greens are soft on independence, Alba is the only party making independence a priority in this election.
“Only independence will give us the full economic powers and the financial clout to borrow for the long term at low-interest rates.”
Alba’s lead candidate for South Scotland, Cynthia Guthrie, said: “As the first minister responsible for the reopening of the Borders Railway, Alex Salmond has shown how to use the powers of devolution to the full extent, to make a difference.
“Now, in order to complete the job and extend the Borders Railway to Carlisle, we need the full powers of independence.
“It will also bring tremendous social, economic and environmental benefits.”