Page last updated at 20:16 GMT, Wednesday, 10 December 2008

In quotes: Transport plan reaction

Forth bridges

Reaction to the Scottish Government's 10-year investment plan for future road and rail projects.

DES MCNULTY MSP - LABOUR TRANSPORT SPOKESMAN

"The Scottish Government has admitted that the Scottish Futures Trust will have no role in funding the new Forth crossing.

"This is a humiliation for [Finance Secretary] John Swinney, who has been forced to admit that his big idea is not fit for purpose.

"Funding Scotland's biggest engineering project in a generation by conventional procurement, at a cost of up to 2.3bn, will have a massive impact on the Scottish Government's ability to deliver other projects."

PAUL TETLOW - TRANSFORM SCOTLAND CAMPAIGN GROUP

"This obsession with further road-building will lock Scotland into increased oil dependency.

"At a time when we need to be planning for massive cuts in climate emissions, we need to see a programme aimed at getting people out of cars rather than a spree of road-building.

"It is an acknowledged fact that new road-building creates more car journeys so how this programme will help deliver 80% reductions in greenhouse gas emissions is difficult to believe.

"The commitments to rail electrification north of the Forth and to a national smartcard are welcome.

"And while 3bn on Glasgow rail improvements is also welcome, we would have expected Transport Scotland to have come up with something rather more specific than is stated here."

ALEX JOHNSTONE MSP - CONSERVATIVE TRANSPORT SPOKESMAN

"I very much welcome the reduced cost of the new Forth crossing as well as the plan to make use of the current bridge as a public transport corridor.

"A new bridge remains Scotland's most pressing transport priority, and I would urge ministers to make every effort to start the work ahead of schedule.

"While the many schemes contained in the review are to be welcomed, I am disappointed by the lack of clear prioritisation.

"The previous Labour/Liberal Democrat Executive consistently failed to prioritise transport schemes and as a result delivered little.

"Ultimately this report, though months late, still falls well short of the mark."

ALISON MCINNES MSP - LIBERAL DEMOCRAT TRANSPORT SPOKESWOMAN

"Today's statement has reduced Aberdeen Crossrail to nothing more than a few timetable improvements.

"Aberdeen Council and local MSPs have long campaigned for this service.

"SNP ministers have dodged questions about Aberdeen Crossrail's future - this statement was a golden opportunity to commit to this vital link.

"The SNP has badly let down people in the north east."

PATRICK HARVIE MSP - GREENS

"This is a national transport plan that would have been out of date in the 1960s, let alone in 2008.

"Less than a week ago, the Climate Change Bill promised to reduce emissions, but the transport minister's announcements today will make it harder than ever to meet those targets.

"Campaigners across Scotland have called on the government to put the brakes on runaway climate change, but instead ministers have just stepped on the gas.

"The cost of public transport continues to rise, and services are creaking.

"Ministers had a golden opportunity to improve Scotland's buses and trains, and to make them affordable for all, but instead they have chosen to waste billions of pounds of taxpayers' money on vanity projects."

ALAN RUSSELL - FIFE CHAMBER OF COMMERCE

"Fife Chamber of Commerce welcomes today's announcement by the Scottish Government regarding the Strategic Transport Projects Review, especially the fact that the new Forth crossing is taking top priority.

"This is great news for Fife and Scotland as a whole as it demonstrates that we are open for business and the decision will be instrumental in securing much needed investment in the future.

"We had some concerns over the funding of the project, and are pleased to learn that the estimated cost of the project has substantially reduced.

"We are happy to support the Scottish Government to ensure that this project is completed on time and on budget and leaves a lasting legacy for Scotland."

TRICIA MARWICK MSP - SNP

"The decision by the SNP Government to build a new Forth crossing will be welcomed by the people of Fife and ends the years of uncertainty faced by local commuters and businesses alike.

"The SNP Government has honoured its promise and in doing so has acted on an issue that the previous Labour and Liberal Democrat Executive dragged their feet on.

"The SNP Government has also taken the sensible steps to lower costs and to ensure best value for that money.

"In contrast Labour have refused to rule out returning tolls to the Forth and the people of Fife."

DUNCAN MCLAREN - FRIENDS OF THE EARTH SCOTLAND

"While we welcome the significant rail investments proposed, if this spending is expected to reduce climate changing emissions it has to encourage traffic away from road and air routes.

"For the government to also include massive investment in increasing road capacity casts doubt on their claim that the package as a whole will reduce emissions.

"Even if the vague claim made in the report is valid, transport needs to make a much larger contribution to reducing Scotland's climate changing emissions by 80% by 2050.

"This package does not include current projects such as the M74 extension and Aberdeen Western Peripheral Route - those two projects alone will contribute well over 100,000 tonnes of additional CO2 a year to Scottish emissions."

IAIN FERGUSON - CBI SCOTLAND

"A reliable, efficient transport system with adequate capacity is an essential component of a successful economy and today's announcement is certainly a step in the right direction.

"Many of the 29 investment priorities outlined by the transport minister were identified by CBI Scotland as being critical in supporting the future growth of Scots businesses.

"In particular, we are pleased that the Scottish Government has committed to electrification of the rail network, reducing rail journey times between Scotland's major centres of economic activity, upgrading of the A9 between Perth and Inverness to dual carriageway and road and rail improvements which will improve freight links from major Scottish terminals.

"We also welcome confirmation that the new Forth crossing will be toll free."

ELAINE MURRAY MSP - LABOUR

"There is precious little for us here in Dumfries and Galloway. As with the funding of the local health service and council, our region is obviously of low importance to the SNP Government.

"There is no progress with improvements to the A76, A701, or A7 in Dumfries and Galloway and only minor improvements to the A75, unspecified climbing lanes and roundabout improvements on the A75 during the period 2012 to 2022.

"The total estimated costs of these improvements range between 10m and 50m, mere crumbs from the table, out of a total planned expenditure over the 10 year period of between 12bn and 20bn.

"Compare that to the total of 2bn to 4bn for the upgrade of the A9, the 250m to 500m allocated for the A96 or the 1.72bn to 2.34bn for the Forth crossing, and it becomes clear with the Scottish Government's interests lie."

NANETTE MILNE MSP - CONSERVATIVES

"The SNP Scottish Government's Strategic Transport Review represents a cheap deal for north east road and rail users.

"The promises made by Alex Salmond and the SNP at the last Scottish Parliament election, including the dualling of the A96 and A90 have been totally shelved.

"Although, I welcome the fact that ministers have acted on Conservative calls to include a new Inversamsay bridge to address congestion caused.

"However, I am very disappointed that there is no mention on a new station for Kintore or the Aberdeen Crossrail."

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SEE ALSO
Transport blueprint at-a-glance
10 Dec 08 |  Scotland
Cut-price Forth crossing outlined
10 Dec 08 |  Scotland

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