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Last Updated: Tuesday, 15 June, 2004, 15:17 GMT 16:17 UK
'Poor' infrastructure under fire
Chapelcross power station
Power generation caused particular concern
The state of Scotland's infrastructure has come under fire from a leading professional engineering body.

The Institution of Civil Engineers said that the Scottish Executive and the parliament could not manage a single A grade in any public service provision.

It raised specific concerns about the state of public transport and power generation provision.

The Scottish Executive said it was surprised and disappointed because its top priority was growing the economy.

Life-support systems

It said it was investing record amounts to create the right conditions.

This is the first time the leading professional body for engineers has produced a separate report on the state of Scotland's civil life-support systems.

It looked at transport, sanitation, energy, water and waste management systems and the communities that form modern society.

"The Scottish report will make uncomfortable reading for the Scottish Parliament and the Scottish Executive - indeed, for all levels of government in Scotland," the ICE report said.

"After five years of devolved government, Scotland still has to suffer a 'Poor' infrastructure ... a D Grade in terms of our State of the Nation Report."

The M8's not going to go away, can we make it a genuine motorway?
Wylie Cunningham

The report said there have been some improvements over the past year, but they have not gone far enough.

It said Scotland's infrastructure was "becoming increasingly geriatric and fragile".

The report said: "Scotland is entitled to ask what the Scottish Parliament and the Scottish Executive are achieving with all the power and all the resources the voters gave them when the country still cannot achieve a single A Grade in any of our public sector services.

"The best we can manage is a couple of 'Fairs' in sub sections of the transport system.

"Almost every area we cover in State of Nation reveals a lack of joined up government thinking, delay and uncertainty, more talk than action, and a regrettable emphasis on worthy intentions rather than deliverable realities."

Renewable energy

Wylie Cunningham, ICE executive secretary for Scotland, said: "We're not going to dig up roads and turn them back into potato fields, so if we've got roads, let's make sure they are to the highest possible standards.

"The M8's a good example, the M8's not going to go away, can we make it a genuine motorway?"

The organisation also expressed concern about power generation.

It said coal-fired power stations were on the way out and renewable energy was not capable of filling the gap.

The closure of nuclear plants means there will be an increasing need for gas plants to make up the difference.

What will they think of next?
07 May 04  |  Magazine
Warning over 'poor' infrastructure
29 Jul 03  |  Northern Ireland

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