Forth Estuary Transport Authority

First Minister's Question Time – in the Scottish Parliament at 3:10 pm on 27th March 2003.

Alert me about debates like this

Photo of Nora Radcliffe Nora Radcliffe Liberal Democrat 3:10 pm, 27th March 2003

To ask the First Minister what discussions the Scottish Executive has had with the Forth Estuary Transport Authority regarding transport options across the Firth of Forth. (S1F-2634)

Photo of Rt Hon Jack McConnell Rt Hon Jack McConnell Labour

Officials are in regular contact with the Forth Estuary Transport Authority concerning a range of cross-Forth transport issues and we have a seat on its management board.

Photo of Nora Radcliffe Nora Radcliffe Liberal Democrat

I thank the First Minister for that answer. Does he agree that it will be important to run a sustainability slide rule over any proposed new crossing, and that every effort should be made both to maximise the rail capacity over the current rail bridge—for example, by using longer trains—and to consider using the planning framework to group together homes, leisure facilities and jobs in order to cut down commuting?

Photo of Rt Hon Jack McConnell Rt Hon Jack McConnell Labour

I have much sympathy for the points that Nora Radcliffe makes. It is important that we maximise the use of existing routes and that we have the rolling stock that allows us to do that. It is also important that, in our planning policies, we design homes and communities in such a way as to reduce the need to travel distances to work or for other purposes. I am happy to take up the points that Nora Radcliffe raises and pass them on to the Forth Estuary Transport Authority.