Glasgow City Council (Connectivity Commission Recommendations)

– in the Scottish Parliament on 1st September 2021.

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Photo of Pauline McNeill Pauline McNeill Labour

8. To ask the Scottish Government what support it plans to provide to Glasgow City Council to implement the recommendations in the report by the Connectivity Commission, including funding for the proposed metro system. (S6O-00080)

Photo of Graeme Dey Graeme Dey Scottish National Party

Pauline McNeill will be aware that that work was commissioned by Glasgow City Council and it will be for the council to determine whether it wishes to implement the

Connectivity Commission’s recommendations.

However, we are progressing the second strategic transport projects review, which is considering the case for a Glasgow metro, and the Scottish Government is working collaboratively with Glasgow City Council on that. Decisions on future funding will be made after STPR2 is concluded and as part of the Scottish budget process.

Of course, the Glasgow city region local authorities have more than £1 billion in their growth deal infrastructure fund, of which the Scottish Government committed £500 million, to use for investment in infrastructure such as the Glasgow metro.

Photo of Pauline McNeill Pauline McNeill Labour

The minister is aware that it is one of the biggest projects that Glasgow intends to support in order to transition to sustainable transport—it is a really important project. However, press reports indicate that the private finance that the leader of the council is seeking looks uncertain. Does the minister share my concerns that the funding needs to be nailed down and that Glasgow City Council’s intention to at least partly fund the metro system with private finance raises questions about whether the necessary progress will be made in a reasonable timescale? I accept that the work is a collaboration, but I hope that the Scottish Government can assure me that it will take a strong interest in it. Glasgow is Scotland’s largest city. We desperately need a project that will help us transition to net zero, and that looks like it could be the one.

Photo of Graeme Dey Graeme Dey Scottish National Party

Briefly, the fact that the project features in STPR2 is a recognition of its national importance.