Should they be re-elected, The Scottish National Party has undertaken to advance £50m to environmentally friendly transport projects. The pledge was announced last week in the SNP’s £250m Futures Fund Budget. The funding has become possible due to savings which have been made on the Forth Bridge project.
The SNP leader, Alex Salmond, has stated that transport is the foremost source of CO2 gas, accounting for 25% of the country’s entire emission. Working through the Futures Fund, the SNP will provide £50m for the improvement of transport innovation and connectivity.
The fund will provide environmental and economic benefits by encouraging Scottish business firms that specialise in low carbon transport technology. According to a party spokesman the fund could bring about a conversion of Scotland’s bus fleet to low carbon vehicles, improve the infrastructure of electric vehicles and create bicycle rental schemes.
Advanced technologies, such as hydrogen fuel cells, could also benefit from the Future Transport Fund. It will also help Scottish companies gain global market share in the low carbon vehicle technology industry in the next 15 to 20 years. Low carbon technology will give Scotland a chance to re enter industry from a position of strength.
The replacement of the Forth crossing is the largest undertaking of this kind ever done in Scotland and the saving made in the construction will ensure that the bridge remains allied to the future of Scotland.
The opposition Scottish Green party, has argued that the policy is flawed and it is seriously weakened by other promises made by the SNP regarding other carbon reducing transportation projects.
The Green party spokesman, Patrick Harvie, has accused the SNP of being obsessed with building new highways and putting extra road bridges across a river when the condition of the present road structure is in a shocking state. He added that the SNP had placed only minimal funding into active and sustainable travel over the past few years.
Taking his argument further, Harvie suggested the SNP abandon their plans for an unnecessary bridge and instead invest the available £1.6 billion in public transport. At the next session of the Scottish Parliament the Green Party will apportion a major portion of the transport budget to public transport.