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Monday, February 6, 2023

Investing for The Future

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Transport investment priorities confirmed.

The Scottish Government has confirmed its key priorities for future transport investment with the publication of the second Strategic Transport Projects Review (STPR2).

STPR2 will help deliver the vision, priorities and outcomes set out in the second National Transport Strategy and inform transport investment in Scotland for the next 20 years.

The final report makes 45 recommendations – 38 of which are already underway, including:

  • Mass transit in our biggest city regions: Clyde Metro represents a multi-billion investment over a 30 year period which, when complete, could better connect more than 1.5 million people to employment, education and health services in and around Glasgow.
  • Rural transport and island communities: As well as significant investment in port infrastructure and strategic road connections, STPR2 recommends the further investigation of potential fixed link connections at the Sound of Harris and Barra, and between Mull and the Scottish mainland.
  • Decarbonisation of public transport: Transport is Scotland’s biggest carbon emitter and STPR2 recommends making funds available for ferry, rail and bus decarbonisation as well as zero emission vehicles, improving facilities for sustainable freight and behavioural change.
  • Improving active travel infrastructure: encouraging more people to walk, wheel and cycle more often; cutting carbon emissions and improving health and wellbeing, particularly of children, while supporting sustainable economic growth.

A Delivery Plan to provide further insight on the prioritisation of the STPR2 recommendations will follow in the new year, when there is more clarity and greater certainty on the available capital budget and fiscal policy for the coming years.

Cabinet Secretary for Net Zero, Energy and Transport, Michael Matheson said:

“The final publication of STPR2 represents a key milestone for transport planning in Scotland, setting out a 20 year framework for capital investment to drive the change we need to reach our ambitious – and essential – net zero goals.

“The era where catering for unconstrained growth in private car use is well and truly over.

“The majority of the 45 recommendations contribute directly towards achieving emissions reduction, and I’m pleased that significant progress is already being made on many of these.

“Delivering the level of investment set out in STPR2 will enhance accessibility for residents, visitors and businesses; improve connectivity with sustainable, smart and cleaner transport options; and highlight the vital contribution transport can make to Scotland’s economic growth.”

Chair of SPT, Councillor Stephen Dornan said:

“SPT continues to welcome the ambition of the Clyde Metro as set out in the Strategic Transport Projects Review final report.

“The creation of this metropolitan regional transport network is also reflected in SPT’s proposed Regional Transport Strategy which has received strong support during a recent public consultation.

“We look forward to working with Transport Scotland and Glasgow City Council to develop and deliver this fit for purpose multi-modal public transport system designed to improve transport across the region for many future generations.”

Managing Director of Scotland’s Railway, Alex Hynes said:

“The final publication of STPR2 is an important milestone which recognises the vital role the railway has to play in achieving a net zero Scotland.

“Rail’s contribution to our overall carbon footprint is already very low at 1%, and while the financial picture remains challenging, we’re keenly focused on helping the Scottish Government achieve its net zero ambitions – that includes getting more passengers and freight off roads and onto rail.

“Scotland’s Railway is in the unique position of being a high capacity, low carbon mode of transport capable of moving both people and heavy goods.

“That’s why it’s so encouraging to see STPR2 supporting the potential for even more passenger and freight to travel by train.”

Scotland Director at Sustrans, Karen McGregor said:

“Sustrans welcomes the final report’s acknowledgement that improving active travel infrastructure and encouraging more people to walk, wheel, and cycle is an essential part of Scotland’s drive towards net zero.

“The final recommendations of STPR2 will fundamentally shape the places we live in and how we get around.

“Sustrans welcomes the Scottish Government’s recognition that investment in sustainable, low-carbon, active travel will be at the heart of Scotland’s transport objectives and strategic priorities.

“Investment in making active travel journeys easier, safer and more accessible for everyone puts our communities first.

“Walking, wheeling, and cycling has a vital role to play in tackling inequalities and delivering a healthier, more sustainable and more prosperous Scotland.”

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