The Greens are historically hostile to road investments and this will not be tempered by the office.
They were hostile to the commitment to overtake the A9, despite arguments put forward about the carnage that regularly occurred there. Improvements and an increase in the speed limit of heavy goods vehicles, although with the installation of medium speed cameras, are working. Accidents are reduced and the road is much safer.
They also lobbied for the Edinburgh tram program, even when it was explained that for a similar price, every bus in Lothian could be a new, state-of-the-art, low-emission vehicle and that every bus Edinburgh would operate free of charge for seven years.
But the mantra was “the roads are bad and the streetcars are good”, and we were overwhelmed. So we’ll see but I’m sure it will have an impact and not for good.
Of course, the investments in walking and cycling are welcome. Public transport is also fundamental to our society and the coronavirus pandemic has only made the challenges more difficult.
Scottish independence: Nicola Sturgeon insists that indyref2’s mandate is “undeniable …
Cuts to ScotRail services and increasing costs and reduced schedules on bus networks are a big blow in trying to get people out of their cars. For many, this was not an option before and it just got worse.
Equally important, improving supply and subsidizing tariffs will be necessary. It all comes at a price.
Of course, we cannot cover the country with asphalt or get out of the congestion. But there are road projects that are necessary for the social and economic development of the country, in addition to being essential for the safety and quality of life of many communities.
It’s not just rest and gratitude, but many more across the country where action and upgrades are long overdue. They cannot be brought down by this deal.
Suggestions that the A9 and A96 are covered by an opt-out for security reasons ring hollow when progress on them has slowed or even stalled anyway.
The new double section of the A9 between Birnam and Dunkeld opened this weekend but no new action stages were revealed. Communications with Transport Scotland seem to keep them waiting for ministerial directives. The ability to complete another leg of the duel – not to mention the entire route by 2025 as previously promised – seems doomed to fail.
The A96 is needed for the northeast, as the A75 is needed for the southwest. Despite Brexit and the shortage of drivers, heavy goods vehicles are still driving along the latter from Cairnryan, seeking the motorway network to the south.
A flight over Sheriffhall is key to reducing congestion, not to mention making it easier to get to the main hospital in East Scotland. The A1 requires action as offshore wind renewable energy projects see transmission stations built and underwater cabling work begins.
These projects are not a highway to hell but essential, and should not be lost in the price of this deal.