Scotland is investing twice as much per person on transport as England and invested more per head on improving infrastructure than any other nation in the UK in every single year since the SNP came to power in 2007, according to new independent analysis.
The figures, compiled by researchers from the Scottish Parliament Information Centre (SPICe), also show a rise in transport investment in Scotland from 2007 per head of population, while spending has dropped in England over the same period.
Local MSP Kenneth Gibson, Convenor of Holyrood’s Finance Committee, welcomed the findings as a significant endorsement of the SNP’s record in government; on improving transport connectivity for all of Scotland, boosting the economy and redressing years of neglect under the previous Labour and Lib Dems administration. Figures also show a substantial 43% increase per head on spending on Scottish trunk roads, 17% more on local roads and an additional 8% on public transport compared to the previous administration.
Commenting, Kenneth Gibson said:
“The SNP has a clear commitment to investing in modern and effective transport infrastructure, serving all of Scotland. We’re investing more per head on our roads, railways and public transport networks than ever before, ensuring better connected communities and shorter journey times. This is good news for people living in Scotland, visitors and a significant boost to local businesses and the wider economy.
“Despite a less challenging economic environment and the ready availability of capital, dithering by previous Labour-led administrations in Scotland led to frustrating delays to vital infrastructure projects like the M74 Northern Extension, Dalry Bypass, Brodick linkspan – now being developed into a new harbour – and new ferry procurement.
“The SNP Government moved swiftly to get mothballed plans off the drawing board and back into construction and commenced strategically vital projects such as the new Forth Road Bridge - opposed by Scotland’s opposition parties - which opens to traffic this year.
“Since 2007 Scotland has consistently outperformed the other nations in the UK, with twice as much spent on transport investment per head than in England. Alongside this, the SNP Government has announced increased expenditure on active travel to promote healthy lifestyles by encouraging walking and cycling.
“If re-elected in May, the SNP will continue to prioritise transport investment.”
In 2013-14 spending £ per head was as follows:
Scotland England Wales Northern Ireland
Transport - Total 564 279 352 287
Trunk Roads 107 43 80 8
Local Roads 133 72 119 170
Railways 180 99 126 30
Data is from the UK Treasury’s Public Expenditure Statistical Analysis.