Two senior Cumbrian politicians say the county's coastal line should take priority over other alternative rail schemes if HS2 did not go ahead.

The Taxpayers' Alliance has published a report which claims scrapping the controversial £50bn high speed train link would fund 28 other rail schemes - including two in Cumbria.

It includes a £30m upgrade of the Carlisle to Settle line and the £110m reinstatement of the Keswick to Penrith railway in its list of alternatives.

But Cumbria County Council leader Stewart Young and Carlisle MP John Stevenson have questioned the list, stressing that there are other more urgent priorities locally.

Although they differ on whether HS2 is a good idea, they both agree that the Cumbrian coastal route, which stretches from Carlisle down to Barrow, would top their list of alternatives.

The Taxpayers' Alliance report was launched by former cabinet minister David Davis MP - a staunch critic of HS2 - in Parliament yesterday.

However fellow Conservative Mr Stevenson said he was not opposed to HS2, even though the first phase of the multi-million pound scheme would only link London and Birmingham.

"I've been consistently supportive of HS2 on the basis of it increasing capacity, more than anything else. That's something we've got to be alert to - having enough trains and space for passengers. If we are not careful we will not have capacity on the West Coast Main Line," he explained.

However he said that could not be at the expense of other vital upgrades, regionally and locally.

"We need to make sure all the investment doesn't go into HS2. Other schemes, including the Cumbrian coastal route, also need investment," he said.

Mr Stevenson said the Carlisle/Settle and Keswick/Penrith proposals were not as urgent.

"Rather than going for a new scheme, we need to make sure what we have is properly maintained, looked after and improved," he added.

Labour county councillor Mr Young agreed, though he does not believe spending £50bn on HS2 is the right thing to do.

"I'm not a big fan of HS2 because I think the benefits that we might accrue from the scheme are disproportionate," he said.

Mr Young said he was also concerned that if it is extended, the high speed route may bypass Cumbria and leave the county worse off. "The whole point of high-speed trains is that they don't stop everywhere," he said.

In terms of priorities, he said there were schemes that needed investment ahead of Carlisle/Settle and Keswick/Penrith.

"Our priority is obviously the West Coast Main Line, as that's the main artery, but also the Cumbrian coastal line and the Furness line. Other schemes we are focused on is the Tyne Valley line, between Carlisle and Newcastle, as that needs substantial investment, and the Windermere to Oxenholme line. Our priorities are quite clear and shared at a Transport for the North level," he said.