The campaign to boost Grangemouth’s transport infrastructure has taken another step forward with a presentation in the Scottish Parliament, arguing that improvements to Grangemouth’s road and rail links should be a national priority.
The meeting with MSPs and Scottish Government agencies and officials took place on Thursday November 6th, and was addressed by Community Councillor Walter Inglis, Falkirk Council Transport Planning Coordinator Kevin Collins, Forth Ports’ Director Alan Burns, and Phil Flanders of the Road Haulage Association.
Falkirk East MSP Cathy Peattie, who organised and chaired the meeting on behalf of the Grangemouth Transport Forum, said
“Grangemouth is a major part of the Scotland’s economy, at the heart of the petrochemical industry, and a major hub for freight distribution. It is crucial to the sustainable development of our economy and our transport system.
“The port and the freight rail terminal are helping to reduce Scotland carbon footprint, reducing long distance road freight, but as a consequence, local traffic – coming to the inter-modal hub – is increasing. There is great potential for further growth of the hub, but if this to happen, we need to sort the transport network around Grangemouth.
“The Grangemouth Transport Forum brings together the Community Council, Falkirk Council, local businesses, trade unions and other organisations. We have built a consensus on the need for improvements that benefit all by increasing Grangemouth’s capacity while taking heavy traffic away from residential roads.
“The scale of improvement needed to achieve this requires significant funding. Given that the importance of addressing these issues has been recognised in the Scottish Government’s National Planning Framework, we believe that the funding should be a national priority.
“There are of course, other projects competing for funding. The Scottish Government may have agreed that it would be a good idea, but we still have to argue that it should be put at the front of the queue for funding. That’s why we were in parliament, to meet with representatives of the Government and government agencies.
“As well as campaigning on the freight issue, we are also looking for better public transport, with rail passenger services and better bus services in the area.
“The next step is that we will be seeking to have a deputation from the forum meet with the Minister for Transport.”