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Commitment to green jobs will be found in Infrastructure Investment Plan spending priorities

Published 01 September 2020 by Transform Scotland

Commenting on this afternoon’s Programme for Government announcement, Transform director Colin Howden said:

“The focus on green jobs is laudable, and it is important that we see investment in the supply chain for zero emission public transport where critical green jobs are under threat.

“In this Climate Emergency, and to tackle inequalities, Scotland needs to invest in measures to allow people to switch from private cars. So the proof will be what is featured in the £32 billion Infrastructure Investment Plan. In transport, this is currently vastly skewed towards high-carbon new roads projects.

BYD ADL Enviro200EV (pure electric). Image courtesy of ADL.

“The First Minister will find more jobs in local-carbon, local investment in transport. This means fixing roads and pavements, and investing in new bus services and cycle paths, as these can be delivered by Scottish companies and Scottish Local Authorities. It is not only environmentally unsustainable, but grossly economically inefficient, to seek jobs through grandiose roads megaprojects delivered by English and foreign contractors.

“The transport components of the PfG are unimpressive, generally restating commitments made 12 months ago. While the pandemic has hindered progress over the past six months, it doesn’t excuse the inaction for the six months after last September.

“Twelve months on, there has been no progress on the Bus Partnership Fund or Managed Motorways commitments, and no new rail electrification commenced despite the policy commitment to rail electrification.

“£100 million a year on active travel is fine, but it remains only 4% of Transport Scotland’s budget. It would take 60 years at this level of investment to reach the spend committed to only the A9 and A96 roads.”