Transport investment at record levels


Investment in improving road and rail infrastructure in the west of Scotland and across the rest of the country….

Investment in improving road and rail infrastructure in the west of Scotland and across the rest of the country is at record levels, Cabinet Secretary for Finance and Sustainable Growth, John Swinney said today.

And infrastructure projects like the M74 Completion which are acting as a catalyst for urban regeneration and new development, as well as safeguarding jobs and creating new job opportunities, will provide the ‘fast efficient transport links that businesses need to thrive’.

Speaking at BOC in Cambuslang, an industrial gas producer and supplier whose business has relocated to take advantage of the benefits the new M74 Completion, Mr Swinney said:

“The Scottish Government is investing record sums in road and rail across Scotland which is supporting economic growth and helping accelerate recovery.

“Infrastructure projects like the M74 Completion are also encouraging businesses to invest and expand their operations here. Businesses like BOC have seen the benefits to their operations being located near the new motorway, helping them get their products to customers quicker, in turn enhancing their competitiveness and creating further expansion and job creation opportunities for them.

“In addition, increasing accessibility to priority regeneration areas like the Clyde Gateway is releasing the development potential of those areas, bringing a further boost to Scotland’s economy. New developments directly linked to the M74 Completion currently under way or which have planning permission, are expected to create and support some 3000 jobs.

“Marrying the benefits to businesses new transport links like the M74 Completion will bring, with the enormous potential for further urban regeneration programmes – many of which are already advancing apace on the ground – underlines the importance of Scottish Government investment in transport infrastructure.

“And it also further reinforces our commitment to doing everything in our power to face head-on the challenges in consolidating economic recovery while supporting sustainable economic growth.”

BOC – a major industrial gas supplier to around 18,000 customers in Scotland – has benefited from the support it received to relocate to a new site to make way for the M74 Completion scheme. The company, which was able to safeguard 100 jobs in doing so, is set to benefit from better connections to its markets.

Nathan Palmer, Sales Director at BOC said:

“For a business like ours, which supplies goods and services to just about every market sector in Scotland, good transport links like the new M74 extension are vital. Our customers, from the largest multinational to the smallest self-employed contractor, expect us to supply the right products on time.

“Our state-of-the-art site here in Glasgow gives us the means to create the required products but we also need an effective road system to deliver it. We are looking forward to the completion of the M74 project and the benefits that will bring us.”

Mr Swinney also took the opportunity to visit the M74 Completion site to see for himself some of the major construction work under way to build a new overbridge at Rutherglen train station. The substructure works have been completed with major lifting operations having started in the last few days to lift 16 girders into place which will support the bridge structure.

The M74 ‘Missing Link’ is scheduled for completion next year.

The M74 Completion project is a partnership between the Scottish Government Agency Transport Scotland, the principal funder, and Glasgow City, South Lanarkshire and Renfrewshire Councils.

The contractor is Interlink M74 JV, a joint venture comprising Morrison Construction, Balfour Beatty, Morgan Est, and Sir Robert McAlpine, four of the UK’s major civil engineering contractors. At its peak, the £445 million fixed construction cost M74 Completion scheme directly supports 900 jobs and many hundreds more jobs throughout the wider supply chain.

Companies in the west of Scotland produce 60% of Scotland’s manufactured goods. Completing the M74 will allow these companies to transport their goods to market quicker, relieving the congested M8, and thereby enhancing business competitiveness and job creation opportunities.

A Business Relocation Team was set up specifically by the 3 Councils to deal with affected businesses and has assisted in the relocation of 108 businesses safeguarding 2,872 jobs. These businesses include BOC, Albion Chemicals, Territorial Army, and Somerville & Morrison. Some of the new developments directly linked to the forthcoming M74 Completion which are currently progressing or have planning permission are expected to secure and create over 3,000 new jobs.

These include the Clyde Gateway East development which is aimed at attracting both light industrial and office-based companies to locate on a site with easy access to the M74 Completion and wider strategic road network, and could create up to 1500 jobs.

Clyde Gateway – the Scottish Government funded regeneration company – has recently announced its plans for the £35 million business park. The 34 acre business park is being built on a brownfield site on London Road which has lain unused for over 30 years. Outline planning consent has been given for the erection of business, general industrial and storage and distribution units, and is capable of accommodating bespoke space and buildings with up to 45,000 m2 of business space. Clyde Gateway envisages a first phase release of development platforms by September this year with two further phases released in early 2011. The first occupants are expected to occupy their premises by Spring 2011.

Over £4.1 billion is being invested in Scotland’s strategic transport networks, supporting the economy through the efficient movement of goods and people.

Transport Scotland is the national transport agency responsible for trunk roads, rail and national concessionary travel. It is an Executive agency directly accountable to Scottish Ministers and came into effect on January 1, 2006.