MSPs reassure FTA on future of Scotland's freight facilities grant
Friday 11 November 2011
The Freight Transport Association met with MSPs at Holyrood yesterday to gather support for protecting the Freight Facilities Grant, which could be ended by Scottish Government next year. FFG has allowed companies to invest in shifting goods by more environmentally friendly means, crucial in helping Scotland meet its target of a 42 per cent cut in greenhouse gas emissions by 2020.
However, FFG's future hangs in the balance following a precipitous cut in funding in the revised Scottish budget in February and a real terms cut in 'support for [the] freight industry' to an annual allocation of just £1.1m every year until 2015, announced in September’s spending review.
FTA believes this level of funding will be insufficient for the majority of intended schemes and will have the effect of making Scottish railways instantly less attractive for those who could consider taking goods off the road.
Chris MacRae, FTA's Head of Policy for Scotland, said:
"It was important for us to meet with members of the environment and infrastructure committees face-to-face and push home the arguments supporting greater funding of FFG, in line with our written submission to the Infrastructure and Capital Investment committee.
"Support for modal shift is essential if Scotland is to meet its carbon targets, with those companies who have already put funding to good use by investing in new cranes and longer loading bays showing it is already working to ‘green’ Scotland’s supply chain. This view seemed to be shared by the MSPs whose support was certainly reassuring. We look forward to working with the Committee more closely on the thorny issue of future funding for the freight facilities grant."
FTA met with:
John Wilson (Deputy Convenor of economy, environment and tourism committee),
Jim Hume (LibDem Transport spokesman),
Gavin Brown (Current Convenor of economy, environment and tourism committee),
Murdo Fraser (Future Convenor of economy, environment and tourism committee),
Adam Ingram (MSP on infrastructure committee)
Aileen McLeod (MSP on environment committee and Parliamentary liaison officer to cabinet secretary for infrastructure and capital investment)
FTA Press Office