Ministerial statement on Scottish transport statistics

Transport Minister Derek Mackay said:

“These figures provide a useful overview and insight into transport trends and behaviours, with some very encouraging results for rail and cycling. We are confident this pattern will continue going forward but appreciate there is still much work to be done to build on this momentum.

“Our record level of investment in rail has delivered 27 kilometres of new railways, a figure set to increase with the opening of Borders Railway later this year giving communities along its route access to services for the first time in more than 50 years. We have built six new stations since 2007-2008, refurbished some of our key hubs and aim to open even more stations in the coming years.

“Improvements to journey times and the general attractiveness of rail travel reflects the success of the existing ScotRail franchise. We are investing a further £5 billion in Scotland’s railways between 2014 and 2019, almost double that planned by UK Ministers on a per capita basis. The new ScotRail franchise will provide at least 80 new trains with 23 per cent more carriages across the network and new electric trains will be delivered for services between Edinburgh and Glasgow.

“Our commitment to assist bus operators is clearly demonstrated by providing around a quarter of a billion pounds every year through the Bus Service Operators Grant and Concessionary Bus Travel. We have also secured a deal that guarantees the future of the ever popular concessionary travel scheme for the next two years.

“The popularity of cycling is encouraging, although perhaps not surprising given the rising investment in active travel networks and smarter measures. In 2014-15, we are investing almost £40 million in cycling and walking projects across the country, including community links projects in partnership with 31 local authorities.

“Maintaining the condition of our strategic road network is vital to the economy of Scotland and enables our most dynamic growth industries - £1 invested in road maintenance generates £1.50 benefits across the wider economy that is why we have invested over £6 billion since 2007. We are focussing on reducing emissions and congestion by identifying ways to optimise capacity on key congested routes and to encourage a greater number of journeys by public and active travel.

“There is robust evidence we have used our devolved powers over transport infrastructure wisely. Our commitment to the largest transport investment programme that Scotland has ever seen defies relentless Westminster budget cuts. This year we are investing over £1 billion in public transport and other sustainable transport options.”

Published 25 Feb 2015