Growing Scotland's economy is the first priority of this Government. Scotland aspires to be a world-class country where people want to live, business can thrive and visitors are keen to return. We want Scotland to be a strong player in the global economic market, increasingly productive and ready to respond to new challenges, with thriving cities and rural economies.
Transport is an essential part of economic activity. Infrastructure, roads, rail, airports and ports - and the businesses that use these assets - are all vital components of Scotland's economy. Transport has a significant and positive contribution to make to economic growth, and to the prosperity and quality of life of Scottish people.
Our key challenge is to develop Scotland's transport infrastructure and services in innovative ways that anticipate future needs and challenges, while recognising at the outset there is a carbon imprint to transport spending. The Stern Report, "The Economic Impacts of Climate Change", clearly demonstrated the need to take strong early action to confront the threat posed by climate change and the Scottish Government remains committed to playing its part in tackling this threat, and preserving our environment for the generations to come.
This strategy maps out the long-term future for transport in Scotland for the first time. I want to see a transport system fit for the 21st century, one that meets the needs of everyone in Scotland, providing them with integrated, modern, reliable and environmentally efficient transport choices. Passengers and business deserve nothing less. Alongside that vision, the strategy outlines the long-term objectives, priorities and plans to make it a reality.
There are 3 key issues that will make a fundamental difference towards delivering a world class transport system:
- Improved journey times and connections - making it quicker, easier and more reliable for passengers to travel between our towns and cities and across our global markets.
- Reduced emissions - making sure that Scotland takes a lead in the future of sustainable transport.
- Improved quality, accessibility and affordability - ensuring everyone across Scotland has high quality public transport choices.
I look forward to working in partnership with local authorities, regional transport partnerships and transport operators to achieve our vision for transport in Scotland, securing the delivery of a transport system that meets the needs of passengers, businesses and the environment alike.
Tavish Scott MSP