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In its submission, which I read, NFU Scotland was quite punchy in its criticism. It stated that the current transport system places
“inequitable and unique barriers on rural communities” and it criticised weak transport connections, poorly maintained roads and a transport system that does not put rural Scotland first.
Does the cabinet secretary agree with that analysis? Does he think that events such as this week’s breakdown of MV Loch Seaforth fill our rural communities with any confidence that this Government is delivering reliable services to them?
I, too, have read the NFU Scotland response. It is generally supportive of the national transport strategy and the proposals that it sets out, and I welcome that. We will give consideration to the issues that it raised.
The member may recall that during the passage of the transport bill, amendments on consideration of the consultation process and its impact were lodged by Colin Smyth. We will therefore consider the outcome of the consultation process in the final strategy and will publish a document stating what we have done as a result of the responses that we have received. That will include the range of areas that the National Farmers Union raised, including the rural first approach, which it highlighted in its submission.