Tag Archives: transport

Avon Gorge/Grangemouth hub should be Government priority

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.
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Easy Rider: The future is electric …

Scotland’s Cities Urged to Plug-In to Ending Pollution
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Cathy calls for action on pavement parking

Falkirk East MSP Cathy Peattie has called for action to be taken on dangerous and antisocial parking.
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Speaking up for Carers

Speaking in the Scottish Parliament, Falkirk East MSP Cathy Peattie has called on the Scottish Government to do more to support carers.

Cathy, who is the Convener of the Cross Party Group on Carers, spoke about the difficulties faced by carers dealing with bureaucracy and the costs that they face for respite charges, heating and travel to access health and other services.

Penalising Working Carers
Reminding the Minister that the Executive policy was that “carers should not be adversely affected as a result of their caring role”, Cathy highlighted local authorities which “are now considering assessing, or are beginning to assess, the income of parent carers when considering the services that it will provide to a disabled young person aged 18 or under.”

Transport
“Transport is a problem for many. It is costly, if it is available. People who cannot travel on their own are entitled to be accompanied by a companion, but only on buses, whereas the blind persons scheme permits a companion to travel also on rail and ferry journeys. Anyone who needs to be accompanied by a companion should be allowed that. Of course, not everyone has access to public transport. Services are sometimes not suitable and in some areas do not exist. Private transport is expensive and unpaid carers rarely have big incomes because many must give up work to provide care. Demand-responsive community transport can provide much-needed services and should be included in the national concessionary travel scheme.

Respite Care
“Respite care is in short supply. The Government is committed to providing an additional 10,000 weeks of respite care, but thanks to the concordat, the commitment is reliant on the good will of councils. To their credit, some councils are providing respite care, but others are not—or have different ideas about how the weeks should be counted.

Poverty
“It would cost a lot to pay carers from the public purse for the services that they provide. Through their unpaid work, they make a major contribution to the economy, which we should recognise by ensuring that the support and services they can access are as good as possible, right across the sectors. We need to recognise carers’ needs in our health service by providing decent breaks and respite care. We must also provide adequate benefits, in recognition of the additional expenses that carers face as a result of their work.

“Carers are everywhere and all of us may become carers at some time in our lives, so we must ensure that carers are seen and supported and that their voices are heard. As politicians, we are responsible for ensuring that carers are supported in every way possible, and for ending the dreadful situation that leaves them living in poverty.”

See also https://cathypeattie.wordpress.com/category/carers/
https://cathypeattie.wordpress.com/2009/05/25/community-transport/

https://cathypeattie.wordpress.com/2008/10/20/fare-deal-for-community-transport/

Community Transport

Falkirk East MSP Cathy Peattie has tackled the Transport Minister on the issue of support for Community Transport schemes such as Forth Valley’s Dial-a-Journey.

Opening the Scottish Parliament Questions, Cathy asked whether the Scottish Government would “extend the national concessionary travel scheme to include demand-responsive community transport schemes such as Dial-a-Journey in Forth Valley, which is used by older and disabled people who are eligible for the scheme but cannot use scheduled services”

In his reply, the Minister said that “the scheme has been the subject of a review since last July. The review is now complete and the resulting report and recommendations will be published this month.”

Cathy then asked “why are private bus operators trusted to operate concessionary transport schemes when community transport organisations are not? A number of disabled and older people throughout the country cannot access travel schemes. Will the minister please look again at the discrimination that those people face daily?”

The Minister, Stewart Stevenson. accepted that this was “a perfectly fair point about the need to provide access to affordable public transport for people with a range of disabilities that prevent their having ready access to standard service buses. We provide substantial support for a wide range of demand-responsive transport, which comes in many shapes and sizes. Some forms fall within the present scheme, whereas others are outside it. We have commissioned additional work on the demands of the transport sector to which Cathy Peattie refers. That work will be available to us later.”

Speaking later, Cathy said: “I have raised this issue several times, through questions, motions and in committee. It is important to maintain pressure on the Scottish Government. Let’s hope that the report takes a positive and constructive approach to support for such services. They really should be included in the national concessionary travel scheme.”

See also: https://cathypeattie.wordpress.com/2008/10/20/fare-deal-for-community-transport/

Call for national action on Grangemouth transport

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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Taken for a ride by ScotRail …

The Deputy Convener of the Scottish Parliament Transport Infrastructure and Climate Change Committee, Cathy Peattie, has tabled a motion in the parliament calling for a halt to the ScotRail franchise extension, a Scottish Parliament inquiry, and for the Minister for Transport, Stewart Stevenson, to make a statement to MSPs. She is also planning to raise the issue at the TICC committee.

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Grangemouth puts case to Holyrood

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.

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Community Fashion

A grand day was had by all. Or to be precise, a two-grand day, since the event, a charity fashion show in Grangemouth, raised over two thousand pounds.

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Fare Deal for community transport

Falkirk East MSP Cathy Peattie is calling for the national concessionary travel scheme to be extended to include community transport schemes such as Forth Valley’s Dial-a-Journey.

“Scheduled bus services don’t always meet the needs of older and disabled people, and so they can find it difficult to take advantage of the current scheme,” said Cathy.

“More accessible and flexible services such as Dial-a-Journey address that need, but are not covered by the scheme. I think we should use the travel scheme to support voluntary organisations who are meeting the need for transport in areas without bus services and services for people who are unable to use public transport – collectively known as demand responsive transport.
“Over two million journeys are made each year in Scotland using demand responsive community transport schemes. Many of the people making those journeys have or are eligible for a free bus card but are unable to make use of it. Is it fair that although eligible for free travel, they are effectively excluded from the free bus scheme?

“They would not have to pay if they could use regular buses, but as it is, travel costs for accessible transport mean that they are unlikely to travel unless absolutely necessary.”

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