Transport Minister Keith Brown believes he could do more to improve Scotland’s transport system if the country was given the full powers of independence.
With £8 billion of capital investment expected to be spent over the next two years the money will support around 50,000 full-time jobs across Scotland.
But at a keynote address at the Scottish Transport Conference, the Transport Minister (pictured) said Scotland could do better still with the full powers of independence.
He said: Transport makes a major contribution to Scotland’s wellbeing, but despite a Scottish Government capital investment commitment of £8 billion in Scotland’s infrastructure over the next two years supporting around 50,000 full-time equivalent jobs across Scotland, we could do more if we had the full powers of independence.
We know transport plays a crucial part as one of the key enablers for delivering sustainable economic growth. We can see that on the ground.
To be signed this month, the M8 motorway improvement scheme contract, with its ground-breaking and innovative financing, will support hundreds of jobs and deliver substantial economic benefits back to the economy.
The £1.5 billion Queensferry Crossing currently under construction on the banks of the Forth, will support around 1,200 jobs at its peak and return around £6 billion to the Scottish economy. And the Aberdeen Western Peripheral Route which is due to start construction later this year will also support local jobs and deliver £6 billion of investment to the north east over the next 30 years.
The benefits transport brings are evident, but Westminster continuing to have responsibility for key aspects of transport policy is hampering decisions and results in slower progress on vital infrastructure and transport investment here in Scotland.
We want to turn the tide and create the opportunities to develop a fully integrated transport network. Independence will ensure we not only protect the powers we have to secure more investment but extend those powers to build a coherent transport system better tailored to the needs of the people who choose to live and work in Scotland.