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Forth Road Bridge closure: Transport Groups call for Greater Investment in Public Transport

Published 14 December 2015 by Colin Howden

Scottish Association for Public Transport & Transform Scotland

NEWS RELEASE
Monday 14 December 2015

FORTH ROAD BRIDGE CLOSURE:
Transport Groups call for Greater Investment in Public Transport

The Scottish Association for Public Transport (SAPT) and Transform Scotland have today (Monday 14 Dec) called on the Government to ensure that future transport policy prioritises investment in public transport over further road-building. Citing the current situation with the closure of the Forth Road Bridge, the groups praise the initiatives to provide enhanced public transport options but point out that this should not simply be an afterthought at times of crisis but a key element of a balanced transport strategy.

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Paul Tetlaw from Transform Scotland said:

“We welcome the speedy response to the current closure of the Forth Road Bridge and the steps taken to enhance bus and rail services. All involved deserve full credit and ScotRail and Stagecoach have clearly pulled out all the stops to source more trains and buses to cope with the extra passenger numbers. But this should be a wake-up call for government, it shouldn’t take a crisis such as this to highlight the need for additional and prioritised public transport options on such key routes. It would now make sense to keep the additional trains sourced to boost capacity across the ScotRail network.

“Going forward we need to see a balanced transport strategy that provides people with public transport alternatives to the car. Simply building more road capacity further embeds car dependency and will not allow the government to meet its climate change targets and its stated aim of modal shift from the car to public transport.”

John McCormick of SAPT said:

“If car and lorry traffic continues to grow unabated, wear and tear on road surfaces and structures will create further problems. In this week’s Scottish Budget statement, John Swinney should ensure that public transport investment is prioritised. This will reduce the ongoing cost of road maintenance, and cut accidents, congestion, and pollution.”

ENDS

**NOTES TO EDITORS:

[1] Scottish Association for Public Transport (SAPT)

SAPT has, for over fifty years, campaigned for an efficient world-class transport system for Scotland. See <http://www.sapt.org.uk> for details.

[2] Transform Scotland

Transform Scotland is the national sustainable transport alliance, bringing together rail, bus and shipping operators, local authorities, national environment and conservation groups, businesses and local transport groups – see <http://transformscotland.org.uk/who-we-are/our-members/> for details.

END OF NEWS RELEASE