New Transport Secretary challenged to prioritise bus & rail, and drop outdated obsession with more & bigger roads
New Transport Secretary Michael Matheson is being challenged to prioritise bus and rail services, and drop the government’s “outdated obsession” with building more and bigger roads, as the Scottish Greens point to the failure of a £500million motorway project that promised to cut journey times by 20 minutes.
A year on from the opening of the M8-M73-M74 project, when First Minister Nicola Sturgeon claimed journey times were being cut by 20 minutes, the Scottish Greens are highlighting figures showing average journey times in the area during 2017 only reduced by 4 or 5 minutes during morning rush hour compared to 2012.
Scottish Greens transport spokesperson John Finnie MSP said:
“A lot of public money has been spent for next to no benefit. Successive governments have been obsessed with the outdated idea of building more and bigger roads. A year on from the opening of the M8 project it’s never been clearer that a far better use of public money would be investment in the buses and trains many more people rely on every day, and shifting freight from roads to rail.
“The government has published a Transport Bill that is weak on buses and will need toughened up to ensure a better standard of public service, and we urgently need a statement on the promised public sector bid for the ScotRail franchise, something that has been delayed for too long. Last week the new Transport Secretary announced funds, negotiated by the Scottish Greens, to help more communities get connected to the rail network. He has a chance to build on that positive development and signal a decisive shift away from road expansion and toward the public transport and rail freight that will make Scotland fairer and greener.”
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A year ago Transport Scotland (and the FM) claimed “M8 journeys cut by 20 minutes”