Falkirk East MSP Cathy Peattie has called on the Scottish Government to give a higher priority to the A801 Avon Gorge upgrade and the Grangemouth freight hub.
Representatives of the Grangemouth Transport Forum have met Transport Minister Stewart Stevenson to discuss Grangemouth transport needs – and what Grangemouth has to offer to Scotland’s economy and Scotland’s climate change strategy.
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Tagged A801, Avon Gorge, community council, Council, economy, environment, forth ports, freight, Grangemouth, hauliers, M8, M9, passenger, port, rail, road, station, Transport Forum
Falkirk East MSP Cathy Peattie called for urgent action on the transport infrastructure of Grangemouth and the surrounding area, including the Avon Gorge.
Speaking in parliament debate on the Strategic Transport Projects Review, published as the debate began she outlined the case for improved road and rail links to Grangemouth as a national priority. The Review was followed on Friday by the publication of the National Planning Framework 2, the draft of which had recognised the important role of Grangemouth as an intermodal freight hub.
The review (see http://www.transportscotland.gov.uk/projects/strategic-transport-projects-review) identifies 29 projects across Scotland, which will now be prioritised for expenditure from 2012 onwards.
PROJECT 20 is “Grangemouth Road and Rail Access Upgrades” with the stated aim “To improve rail access to Grangemouth port and the freight hub and road access to and from the motorway network. On the roads, the Grangemouth project will involve an upgrade to Junction 6 on the M9 and the A801 between Grangemouth and the M8. On the rail, it would see electrification of the railway between Coatbridge and Grangemouth, track modifications to improve access from the west and east and an increased loading gauge to allow larger containers to be carried by train. This project will help serve existing and developing industrial and distribution facilities along the M8.” The cost estimate is £100 million – £250 million.
Cathy said “The Grangemouth Transport has been campaigning to get this project onto the agenda, and now we will be campaigning to ensure it is high on the agenda. Grangemouth is crucial to the Scottish economy and the Scottish environment, but will not fulfil its potential unless these improvements are prioritised. We also want to ensure that this is done to the benefit of local people, including reducing the impact of freight traffic on residential areas and improving public transport and routes for cyclists and pedestrians.
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Tagged A801, Avon Gorge, economy, environment, freight, Grangemouth, M8, M9, public transport, rail, road, shipping, transport
On Thursday 12th June in the Scottish Parliament, Falkirk Council and West Lothian Councils met with the Minister for Transport, Stewart Stevenson, and other MSPs.
The meeting was arranged by Falkirk East MSP Cathy Peattie, to give the councils an opportunity to make their case for funding for the A801 Avon Gorge upgrade.
Cathy said: “I think the Minister and his officials have taken on board the arguments that this is not just a local road safety issue – important though that is – it is also a strategic improvement that will bring economic and environmental benefits to the whole of Scotland, and as such, it should be given funding from central government.
“The Scottish Government has identified the Grangemouth intermodal transport hub as a crucial element of Scotland’s economy – and the transition to more environmentally friendly freight transport. In this context, the A801 is not just a local road. It is the shortest arterial route south to the M8. If it wasn’t already so congested and dangerous, more traffic would use it, reducing travel distances and times.
“While there is clearly still much to do to ensure that the plans go ahead, I believe that in conjunction with other improvements around Grangemouth that are supported within the National Planning Framework, the A801 is a strong candidate for government support.”
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Tagged A801, Avon Gorge, Council, environment, Falkirk, freight, Grangemouth, Minister, road, safety, Scottish Parliament, transport, West Lothian