Scottish Government proposals to cut rail freight grants are bad news for those campaigning for a Grangemouth rail station, says Falkirk East MSP Cathy Peattie.
“The Scottish Government has already made it clear that they will not provide money for a passenger station, so hopes have been pinned on getting improvements to the line, which are needed to facilitate freight traffic, but which would also have opened the door to passenger services. This latest decision makes that route much more difficult.”
“As well as being bad news for Grangemouth, it is also bad news for Scotland’s economy and environment. The Scottish Government is making a serious mistake withdrawing grants that have encouraged the transfer of freight from road to rail”
“This is a short-sighted cost-cutting move that runs counter to the Scottish Government’s National Planning Framework objectives and undermines Scottish Climate Change action.”
The freight budget (currently £10.3m) is being slashed, with the Freight Facilities Grant (FFG) scheme closing entirely, leaving just £2.9m for the Mode Shift Revenue Support (MSRS) and Waterborne Freight Grant (WFG) schemes. Freight Facility grants provide an incentive that helps reduce congestion and carbon emissions, providing numerous social, economic and environmental benefits. They have been very cost effective as a means of encouraging the transfer of freight to rail, contributing to the Government’s targets of making our transport network smarter and greener. FFGs have taken over 33 million lorry miles a year off Scottish roads. Each train transports freight equivalent to 50 or in some cases as much as 160 HGVs, and produces 70% less carbon dioxide.