No decisions on funding for Glasgow metro and more Edinburgh tram extensions to come until spring

Michael Matheson, the Transport Secretary in the Scottish Government, has confirmed that decisions of funding for the proposed Glasgow Metro and more Edinburgh Trams extensions will not be made public until the spring as he needs to wait for the budget announcement. The two proposals are part of the Second Strategic Transport Projects Review (STPR2) and it has originally been planned that at the same time as that announcement a delivery plan would also be unveiled but this now won’t happen.

Mr Mathieson has told fellow MSPs that he will not be making any further announcement until after the Scottish Government draft budget because of the current financial constraints. He said: “We had intended to publish a delivery plan alongside STPR2 to set out how and when each of the recommendations are envisaged to be delivered. However, due to the fiscal and budgetary uncertainty over the past few months, that has not been either practical or possible. The fact we are constrained by a reliance on the UK Government for capital grant allocation, as well as our limited capital borrowing powers has added to the uncertainty All of this has resulted in a decision to take more time to create a fully informed and accurate delivery plan. It will continue to be developed over the coming months, informed by the draft budget for the coming financial year with the intention to publish it in the spring.”

In the STPR2 (which we reported on back in December) there were recommendations for a Clyde Metro (although no commitments as to what form that would take with bus rapid transit, tram, light rail and metro all listed as possibilities) as well as further Edinburgh Trams extensions – including the much mooted north-south line from Granton to the Royal Infirmary.

The City of Edinburgh Council have been looking at the possibility of extending the tram system further and have previously said that they would be relying on funding from the Scottish Government and so will be eager to find out whether there is any budget forthcoming from this announcement.

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