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Last Updated: Wednesday, 27 June 2007, 15:14 GMT 16:14 UK
Transport projects concern raised
Scotland's transport minister, Stewart Stevenson, has outlined the government's concern and priorities for transport projects in a statement to the Scottish Parliament.

Here are the main points of his announcement.

  • The new government has inherited transport projects that are "neither sustainable or sensible" and the overall programme has not been prioritised.
  • The SNP administration will press ahead to deliver the Airdrie to Bathgate rail scheme by 2010 at an estimated cost of 300-375m.
  • There is a funding gap for the Borders railway and its planned opening in December 2011 is not achievable.
  • The government expects Scottish Borders and Midlothian councils to "work hard" with developers to close the funding gap.
  • The Glasgow Airport rail link will be delayed by about a year.
  • A simpler project structure will be brought in to ensure the opening of the Stirling-Alloa-Kincardine rail line, which has "run late and over budget", in Spring 2008 at a cost of 80-85m.
  • The government has "no confidence" in the projected timescales for the Edinburgh Airport Rail Link.
  • The airport needs an effective public transport link but not a tunnel under the main runway.
  • Transport Scotland will report to ministers on alternatives to Edinburgh trams and the airport link by the autumn.
  • The government will look at improving bus services in the capital.
  • The government is "absolutely determined" to attach the "highest priority" to electrification of the Glasgow to Edinburgh rail line.
  • The SNP administration is committed to completion of the motorway network and the extension of the M74, due to be delivered by the end of 2011.
  • The M80 Stepps to Haggs road project will be completed under a PPP deal, with the road to be opened in 2011.
  • The government gave a commitment to complete the link between the M8 at Baillieston to Newhouse to the "notorious bottleneck" at Raith.
  • The Aberdeen western peripheral route is to be delivered by about the end of 2010, after the previous government set an "unrealistic" timetable for completion.
  • There will be a consultation on a new Forth road crossing.
  • A tunnel remains an option but an expert report has found that the cost would be almost twice that of a bridge, at up to 4.7bn.





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