Draft Infrastructure Investment Plan 2021-22 to 2025-26

Part of the debate – in the Scottish Parliament on 24th September 2020.

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Photo of Michael Matheson Michael Matheson Scottish National Party

I must say to John Finnie that the 11 options that have been set out as alternative routes for the Rest and Be Thankful have already had some assessment work carried out on them. Therefore, I am afraid that I cannot give that commitment in relation to the Cowal fixed-link project. I am aware of the project, but it is not one of the 11 options that we are considering.

Mr Finnie makes the point that road is not the only solution when it comes to improving transport connectivity. I agree. A good example of that is the economic and social benefits that have come from the Borders railway. That is one of the reasons why I committed last year to investing £70 million in re-establishing the Levenmouth line in Fife, in order not only to improve connectivity but to deliver economic benefits.

John Finnie makes a good point. Roads are not always the solution; at times, other options can help to deliver better connectivity and better economic, social and environmental outcomes. We take those factors into account as part of the investment that we are making through the infrastructure investment plan.