THE stark facts about the level of under-investment in transport infrastructure in the north-east of Scotland have been set out in a new pocket guide for the region’s political and civic ambassadors.
Regional transport partnership Nestrans has produced the ‘fast facts’ guide which is being sent to hundreds of councillors, MSPs, MPs and key business leaders throughout Aberdeen City and Shire. It sets out, for the first time, how the north-east’s share of national transport expenditure stacks up compared to its rail, road and air usage.
Nestrans Chair Peter Argyle said the guide aims to raise awareness of the importance of the region’s transport network to both business and domestic users and provide the area’s ambassadors with the latest statistics to help them highlight the need to secure a fair share of funding for the north-east.
“Since 2005, £1.5billion has been spent on major road and rail projects across Scotland but only 1% of this has been in the north-east,” said Mr Argyle.
“£1.3billion worth of projects are currently underway – none of which are in the north-east – with a total of £7.6billion transport spend made across the country going forward. Of this, Aberdeen City, Aberdeenshire and Moray will receive just 7.5%.
“When you consider the north-east punches significantly above its weight in terms of air and rail travel being disproportionately important to the local economy compared to Glasgow or Edinburgh, ensuring we have access to a modern, integrated transport network is vital if the north-east is to safeguard its economic future and remain a key contributor to the wider UK economy.”
The guide shows that:
- Business travellers account for 54% of passenger traffic at Aberdeen Airport – 24% higher than other Scottish airports.
- Rail passenger numbers have risen 64% in the north-east in the last five years – 23% higher than the national average
- Government-funded trunk roads, which have higher safety levels, account for only 3% of north-east routes – half the national average – despite 13% of fatal road accidents in Scotland taking place in the area.
“Our rail passenger figures are particularly strong with the number of people using Dyce station rising 115% and Inverurie rising 171% between 2005 and 2011. This provides compelling evidence that there is a very strong demand for services if we can provide them,” added Mr Murray.
“A new station at Kintore is the logical next step. It has been shown to be feasible and the evidence is that it would be well used. All we need, and all we have needed for some time, is a firm commitment from the Scottish Government and a fair share of the available pot of money.”