Transform Scotland says “Dirty deals are fuelling climate and poverty failures”

Scotland’s City Region Deals are “fuelling inequality, damaging the environment and further undermining the country’s climate commitments”, according to a new report ‘Dirty Deals’, published by Transform Scptland.

ore than 70% of transport infrastructure investment in Scotland’s City Region Deals – equivalent to nearly £1 billion – is funding high carbon road projects which directly undermine Scotland’s 2045 net zero strategy, increase congestion and damage public health, according to new data uncovered by Transform Scotland.

The alliance for sustainable transport is calling for a Scottish Parliament inquiry into the issue, an immediate halt to new road building projects in Scotland, and reprioritisation of funding to reduce inequalities and promote active travel and public transport.

The issues raised in the Dirty Deals report follows recent evidence of both the UK and Scottish Governments delaying or cutting funding for initiatives designed to tackle climate change. The six City Region Deals cover areas around Aberdeen, Edinburgh, Glasgow, Inverness and Stirling, as well as the combined Tay cities of Dundee and Perth.

Under the Deals, the Scottish and UK Governments work with local authorities to jointly fund major projects based on regional priorities to deliver inclusive growth. Collectively, the Deals incorporate £4.6 billion of spending, including £1.3 billion allocated to transport infrastructure.

However, Transform Scotland found Deal projects were developed with ‘no carbon assessments or reference to Scotland’s climate targets, and uncovered a lack of transparency and data around the carbon impact of spending’.​

Transform Scotland director Colin Howden said:

“The City Deals provided an opportunity for transformational investment in transport in our cities, but local and national politicians have instead blown the cash on a new round of road-building that will inevitably generate more traffic and higher emissions. 

“These politicians could have decided to reduce inequalities by investing in public transport and in our streets, but instead they decided to worsen inequalities and increase climate emissions by spending public funds on schemes that will further benefit the more affluent.

“We’re fed up with Scotland’s political class mouthing empty platitudes about ‘net zero’ and ‘anti-poverty’ yet decade after decade making deliberate decisions to build new infrastructure that makes the country’s climate failure more and more certain, and neglects to provide fairer access to transport for the country’s poorest.”

(Picture – Anastasia Yakovleva/Dreamstime)


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