Freight Grants fail to meet demand

After slashing the freight facilities grant from £7.4m, the £2m available for new projects has been massively oversubscribed.

Questioned in the Scottish Parliament by Falkirk East MSP Cathy Peattie, the Transport Minister revealed that the Scottish Government had received 19 notes of interest in the seven days that applicants were given to submit details. Only eight said they could be completed within a year, but even those eight alone were seeking £5.75m.

Cathy said that “probably there will only be enough support for two or three small projects. We desperately need to shift more freight from roads to rail and sea, to reduce our carbon emissions. Rail improvements could also open the door to better rail passenger services.

“The Minister made it clear that whatever happened, there would no more money, and despite the high level of interest, and very limited time given to apply, the Scottish Government has no intention of re-opening the process.

“This is a very short-sighted cut that undermines other objectives. We really need a Scottish Government with a more joined up approach.”

See also: http://www.rail.co/2011/03/22/interest-in-rail-freight-facilities-grants-10-times-current-budget/

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