2017 was “a landmark year” for Scottish transport, says economy secretary

Photo: JoeDunckley/iStock

Almost £20 billion has been invested into Scotland’s transport infrastructure since 2007, making the country better connected and helping fuel economic growth.

That was the key takeaway from a statement by Keith Brown, the country’s cabinet secretary for economy, jobs and fair work, at the start of 2018.

Mr Brown labelled 2017 as “a landmark [year] for transport in Scotland”, headlined by the opening of the much-anticipated £500 million M8 M73 M74 Motorway Improvements Project in August.

In his new year statement, Mr Brown said the Scottish government had been determined to move transport into the 21st century, accusing previous governments of under-investment over the years.

“Our flagship road schemes speak for themselves,” he wrote. “In less than 10 years, we have opened the new £1.35 billion Queensferry Crossing on the Forth Estuary, a complex engineering feat that has put our workmanship to the front and centre of global engineering.

“We are immensely proud of that achievement, but is only one of many.”

‘Missing Link’

Mr Brown went on to speak highly of the previously mentioned M74 ‘Missing Link’ and M80 upgrade around Glasgow.

“Since its opening earlier this year, it is re-energising our largest city with the wider benefits being felt right across central Scotland and beyond,” he commented, going on to mention the dualling of the A9 from Perth to Inverness, as well as planning being underway to dual the A96 from Inverness to Aberdeen.

He said this was part of the government’s ambition to connect all of Scotland’s cities by motorway or dual carriageway.

Safety boost

Aside from strengthening connectivity across Scotland’s road network, Mr Brown pointed to how these projects had improved the country’s road safety.

“We have seen a reduction of over a third in people killed and seriously injured on our roads, [but] we will invest further,” he added.

Ben Robb, brand manager at Dieselink, reacted to Mr Brown’s statement by saying: “There has been much improvement in the past decade and it’s heartening to know that transport will remain a major priority for the Scottish government in years to come.”

Photo: JoeDunckley/iStock