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Freight transport manifesto for Scotland

To assist candidates in the forthcoming Scottish Parliament and Local Government elections, the Freight Transport Association has published ‘A Freight Transport Manifesto for Scotland’ outlining the transport and distribution needs for industry seeking to deliver goods and services within Scotland, to England and beyond, and for goods coming inwards. FTA has outlined twelve key issues requiring either policy development or financial investment.

FTA Head of Policy for Scotland, Gavin Scott said, ‘Transport plays a major role in growing the Scottish economy and it is absolutely vital that in times of such intense competition our transport infrastructure and operation is as efficient as it can possibly be.

‘The points listed in our freight manifesto constitute practical and realistic actions designed to ensure that Scottish industry is able to move goods and services with economy and reliability. Given Scotland’s location on the very edge of the European Union, it is essential that we maximise our transport efficiency in order to give our core industries every chance of achieving their sales and performance targets. As the final link in the production process, we must get it right and the FTA manifesto is aimed at doing exactly that.’

FTA’s manifesto includes calls for increased investment in road and rail infrastructure; increases in speed limits for lorries on good quality single carriageway roads; early attention to ferry problems for the benefit of Scottish islands; and improvements in ports operations.

‘A Freight Transport Manifesto for Scotland’ can be downloaded from
http://www.fta.co.uk/information/otherissues/scottish_manifesto/index.htm

FTA’s twelve targets are:

– FTA commends the National Transport Strategy and its daughter documents to all parties

– FTA calls on all parties to continue Freight Facilities Grant support for both rail and waterborne freight

– FTA demands increased investment in the road infrastructure of Scotland

– FTA calls for support from the Scottish Executive when campaigning for increased UK investment in port infrastructure and support for the ports industry

– FTA calls on all parties to commit to addressing the continuing poor state of many of Scotland’s trunk roads to bring them up to a standard suitable for a growing economy

– FTA demands an early start to a new bridge over the Forth at Queensferry to replace the current structure before it is closed to goods vehicles

– FTA calls for local authority roads to be given the attention they merit given their importance to local economies both by the provision of grant aided expenditure from the Executive and spending by local authorities and transport partnerships

– FTA calls for the Scottish Executive to press the Department for Transport to increase the speed limit for goods vehicles on good quality single carriageway roads to 50mph

– FTA calls on the Government to investigate how the system of Freight Facilities Grants might be varied to allow the provision of common user sites

– FTA calls for the Scottish Executive to ensure its counterparts in Westminster take account of the freight capacity requirements on the East and West Coast Main Lines for the Scottish export and import traffics

– FTA calls for lifeline ferry provision to be addressed with the interests of the island populations being at the forefront, particularly with regard to freight costs

– FTA strongly supports the use of Freight Quality Partnerships to improve relationships and engender co-operative working between industry and local government.

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