Plans to boost Scottish connectivity and economic growth through transport were at the heart of Transport Minister Richard Holden’s visit to Scotland today (3 April 2023). In meetings with local businesses and community leaders, he outlined the government’s commitment to developing new green technologies.
Minister Holden was in Glasgow to see new hydrogen-powered and self-driving trucks – backed by £16 million government funding – which could be seen on UK roads in the near future. These vehicles would make roads safer, increase productivity and help protect the environment.
This investment is supporting the UK’s ambition of achieving net zero by 2050 and ensuring the UK maximises the opportunities offered by new technologies while supporting high-skilled jobs.
Minister Holden also had a tour of new transport links in Ravenscraig and the surrounding areas, which has received £127 million investment jointly funded by the UK government, Scottish Government and North Lanarkshire Council.
This investment will improve connectivity to local towns and cities, create thousands of jobs and encourage more people to walk and cycle.
Transport Minister Richard Holden said:
Innovation like this in Scotland will help the UK become a world-leading next-generation transport hub by protecting the environment and meeting our global ambitions.
Boosting transport connections across the UK will grow the economy and ensure that everyone no matter where they live has access to well-paid, high-quality jobs.
The regeneration of the Ravenscraig site is estimated to generate 4,600 construction jobs in follow-on development and generate £626 million for the local economy.
This funding is part of the Glasgow Region City Deal, which saw over £1 billion committed for major infrastructure projects in Glasgow and the surrounding areas comprising funding from the UK and Scottish governments.
UK government Minister for Scotland John Lamont said:
UK government investment is helping power Scotland into the fast lane of sustainable transport innovation and delivering improved connectivity – levelling up the UK and bringing communities closer together.
From hydrogen-powered and self-driving trucks being developed in Glasgow, the regeneration of Ravenscraig’s road, rail, cycling and walking infrastructure, a new ferry to save Fair Isle, to a green transport hub in Dundee, we are working to improve people’s journeys, boost economic growth and protect the environment.
But there’s more to be done and we are committed to continue working closely with the Scottish Government and local partners to deliver the benefits travellers want and businesses need.
Minister Holden met local businesses and communities to explore how investment in road schemes, railway lines and domestic flights between Scotland and the rest of the UK could boost connectivity and stimulate economic growth.
Research found 60% of people thought that improving transport links across the UK would make a positive difference to their own nation. Minister Holden will also be visiting Northern Ireland and Wales in the coming days.