Audit Scotland report confirms major infrastructure projects on schedule

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   By a Newsnet reporter

A report by Audit Scotland has confirmed that Scotland’s major infrastructure projects are on time and on budget.

The report shows that the Forth Replacement Crossing, Aberdeen bypass project, Edinburgh-Glasgow Rail Improvement Project (EGIP), M8 bundle of motorway improvements and the Borders Railway are all expected to be delivered within their current budgets.

 

The report was welcomed by Edinburgh Western MSP Colin Keir who described it as “good news”.

Mr Keir said: “Despite the major scale and complexity of these projects, this report reveals that all are on target to be delivered within their current budgets.

“It is particularly welcome news that the Forth Replacement Crossing, the biggest infrastructure project since devolution, is not only on track, but has been given a healthy report card.

“In tough economic times, news that taxpayers will save £350 million in construction costs as a result of the decision to change the scope of EGIP is also good news – while all other projects are on schedule for completion within timetable.”

The MSP also turned his attention to cuts imposed by the UK Government and insisted the news came in spite of the economic policies of Chancellor George Osborne.

He added: “In spite of major cuts to Scotland’s capital budget by the Westminster Treasury, the Scottish Government is delivering an ambitious programme of infrastructure projects that will improve connectivity and boost the economy for a generation to come.”

Despite being on time and on budget, Audit Scotland criticised the lack of clarity over the reporting of the total cost of the project, which will cost £3.5bn to build and an estimated £7.5bn over 30 years.

Auditor General for Scotland Caroline Gardner said: “It is encouraging that all are currently on track to be built within budget and four are on time.

“Transport Scotland and the Scottish government need to improve their reporting on major projects to the public and to the Scottish Parliament.”

Transport Minister Keith Brown said: “Whilst this report provides us with useful assurance around our governance and risk management procedures, we will take forward the recommendations to see where further improvements can be made and I look forward to leading a debate in the Scottish Parliament on major transport projects later in the year.”