Issues guide: Transport

There are several devolved issues under this brief, namely public transport, roads and rail services.

Holyrood also has responsibility for ferry services including state-funded "lifeline" ferry operator Caledonian MacBrayne. Here, BBC news online Scotland outlines the transport policies of the SNP, Scottish Labour, the Scottish Conservatives, the Scottish Liberal Democrats and the Scottish Greens.

Election issues 2011


Scottish National Party



Liberal Democrats


  • Take forward Edinburgh-Glasgow rail improvement programme which will see the electrification of "much" of the central Scotland rail network.
  • Continue strategy for improving A96 and fully dualling the A9 from Perth to Inverness.
  • Continue with ferry Road Equivalent Tariff on current routes, and look to roll out to the Argyll and the Clyde islands in light of the Western Isles pilot.
  • Increase in train services on Airdrie to Bathgate line to four trains per hour and services to Inverness from nine to 11 per day.
  • New integrated ticketing system and increased investment in ferries.
  • Take forward projects including Borders Railway and M8 Baillieston to Newhouse, M74 Raith Junction and M8, M73 and M74 network improvements.
  • Reinstate Glasgow Airport Rail Link.
  • Committed to deliver Aberdeen bypass, M8 Baillieston to Newhouse upgrade, and M74 Raith interchange.
  • Make the road equivalent tariff pilot permanent in Western Isles and will widen coverage to ferry services to the Clyde and the Argyll isles.
  • Sustain and extend concessionary travel.
  • Better use of inland waterways and improved links to ports, such as Grangemouth.
  • Programme of continuous improvements to the A82, A1, A9, A77, A75, A95 and A96.
  • Make the ScotRail franchise available for an extended period of 10 years, from the next renewal, in return for savings, improved investment in rolling stock or better services.
  • Pilot introduction of hard shoulder -running, initially on sections of M77 and M8.
  • Abolish regional transport partnerships, with the exception of Strathclyde Partnership for Transport, which will return to its previous state as pure service provider.
  • Retain existing "lifeline" ferry services, but make savings in the Scottish government's ferry subsidy, partly by tendering the Caledonian MacBrayne and Northlink contracts in smaller bundles.
  • Establish EU-compliant successor to the Air Route Development Fund.
  • No more central government grant funding for Edinburgh trams.
  • Develop a fully-costed and timetabled plan to dual the A9 to Inverness.
  • Fairer fares charter for rail passengers.
  • Increase entitlement age for free bus travel from 60 to 65.
  • Continue to invest in lifeline ferry links.
  • Reintroduce business travel in the air discount scheme for the Highlands and Islands and extend it to cover airport charges.
  • Improvements to road safety and quality, including on the A82, A83 and A96.
  • Save almost £2bn by scrapping the Aberdeen West Peripheral Route and new Forth road bridge, while repairing the existing one, at a cost of £122m, and tackle roads repair backlog.
  • Long-term shift away from investment in extra trunk road capacity, while protecting maintenance of existing road network.
  • Road pricing "will have a role to play" but schemes must be affordable.
  • Ensure "active travel" such as walking and cycling to get at least 10% of the transport budget by end of next parliament.
  • £75m-a-year to cut fares.
  • Develop plans for a non-profit body to bid for the ScotRail franchise.

More Scotland politics stories


Copyright © 2019 BBC. The BBC is not responsible for the content of external sites. Read more.

This page is best viewed in an up-to-date web browser with style sheets (CSS) enabled. While you will be able to view the content of this page in your current browser, you will not be able to get the full visual experience. Please consider upgrading your browser software or enabling style sheets (CSS) if you are able to do so.