On 1 January 2006, the new public agency for road and rail, Transport Scotland took on responsibility for improving both road and rail throughout the country. Dr Malcolm Reed CBE heads the team as Chief Executive with previous experience as Director General of Strathclyde Passenger Transport Executive. The agency is now responsible for the Executive's £3billion capital investment programme of transport improvements to 2010.
The aims of Transport Scotland are to
- Ensure that Scotland's trunk road railway systems are managed efficiently, effectively and economically
- Establish and run the national concessionary travel schemes
- Deliver the Scottish Executive's programme of enhancements to Scotland's rail and trunk road infrastructure
- Help to build Scotland's National Transport Strategy by setting investment priorities for tomorrow's rail and trunk road networks
Projects currently under consideration to be included in the capital investment programme are the redevelopment of Waverly Station in Edinburgh that will see the creation of two new platforms and the Glasgow Airport Rail Link Bill, which was submitted to the Parliament yesterday by Strathclyde Passenger Transport.
The Glasgow Airport Rail Link Bill proposes to upgrade 9km of existing track extending from Shields Junction to Paisley Gilmour Street Station. A further 1.9km of new track will be laid between Paisley St James Station and Glasgow Airport. Presently, 95% of those travelling to Glasgow Airport do so by road. It is submitted by Strathclyde Passenger Transport that to provide a rail service to the airport will not only benefit the Scottish public but will also encourage more tourism throughout Scotland.