Scotland has recognised the contribution infrastructure investment can make to achieve inclusive growth and lower carbon by announcing an increase of £1.5bn by the end of the next parliament.
Scottish Government Cabinet Secretary for Finance, Economy and Fair Work Derek Mackay found money for City Region Deals, transport, energy efficiency and decarbonisation of heat in the draft budget.
There were also commitments to cycling and walking and electric vehicle provision.
The importance of maintaining existing infrastructure – as well as investing in new
In welcoming the draft budget announced on Wednesday (12 December), ICE Scotland underlined the importance of maintaining existing infrastructure assets as well as investing in new.
Earlier this year in its flagship policy publication, State of the Nation Scotland, 2018: Infrastructure Investment the Institution outlined priorities for infrastructure investment and gave recommendations for government and industry to ensure the best return on investment.
Specific recommendations for transport, energy and water sectors were also made.
ICE’s Regional Director of Scotland, Sara Thiam, said:
“We are pleased to see the commitment of £5 billion capital investment in the country’s infrastructure for next year, to enhance quality of life and boost productivity.
“The £50 million allocated to low carbon transport measures is particularly welcome as we move towards a largely electric vehicle fleet.
"However, as this becomes a reality, the government must also think about other forms of revenue to pay for major road development and maintenance. A pay-as-you-go road charging scheme should be considered, as ICE Scotland recommended in its recent State of the Nation Report, for the nation’s busiest roads to ensure the long-term security of revenue for continued maintenance and upgrades.”