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Health, equalities and emissions must be at the forefront of Government’s infrastructure plans

Published 20 February 2018 by Transform Scotland

Transform Scotland has responded to the Scottish Government’s announcement this morning on the Strategic Transport Projects Review (‘STPR2’).

Commenting on the announcement, Colin Howden, Director of Transform Scotland, said:

Before making decisions about investment in infrastructure, the Scottish Government needs to take a step back and think about how transport infrastructure can be used to provide wider benefits for Scotland. Public health, equalities, and climate change should all be at the forefront of STPR2.

“The Government’s infrastructure spending over the last decade has been grotesquely skewed in favour of private car use, leading to transport now being the largest source of carbon emissions in Scotland. Meanwhile, investment in sustainable transport has fallen far short of the Government’s £9 billion road building program. 

“Public transport and active travel offer solutions to many of the wider goals of the Scottish Government on public health, congestion, equalities, and climate change. It’s important that we don’t see precious public funds wasted on yet more new roads on the false assumption that this is ‘good for the economy’.

We’re disappointed to see Ministers now announce the commencement of STPR2 prior to the completion of the National Transport Strategy Review process, despite the specific reassurances that this would not happen. As the Government has previously indicated, the NTS Review should be used to guide the investment priorities for STPR2, but there’s a danger that infrastructure investment decisions will be made that run counter to the objectives of the NTS.”