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Cross-border Transport Connectivity

Volume 705: debated on Wednesday 15 December 2021

4. What discussions he has had with Cabinet colleagues on improving transport connections between Scotland and the rest of the UK. (904688)

I have regular discussions with ministerial colleagues about cross-border connectivity. Sir Peter Hendy’s report, published last month, covers a wide range of solutions spanning all transport modes across the United Kingdom. We will take time to consider carefully all the recommendations in the report, and we will publish our response in the new year.

Investing in zero-emission technologies is essential for future public transport connections. Scotland, as well as other parts of the country, is of course an important manufacturing base for buses. Can my hon. Friend confirm that the Government are working hard to ensure that British manufacturing leads the way in fulfilling our world-leading commitments to introduce zero-emission buses?

I am happy to give my hon. Friend that assurance. We remain committed to supporting the introduction of 4,000 zero-emission buses and to achieving a zero-emission bus fleet. I think I am right in saying that transport is now the biggest single contributor in this country to carbon emissions, so it is absolutely right that we back our domestic industry to help deliver these zero-emission buses.

Thank you, Mr Speaker. Can I ask the Minister this question? Now that the bridge between Scotland and Northern Ireland has been laid to bed at long last, can the Minister indicate what will be done to improve the roads from Larne to Stranraer and further on, because it is important for us in Northern Ireland, where we have tourism and we have business, that the roads are up to a certain standard? What has been done to improve those?

The hon. Gentleman raises an important question. The thinking behind the connectivity review is that we look at transport connections right across the UK. The A75 from Stranraer and Cairnryan to the motorway network is in desperate need of an upgrade, and that was one of the central recommendations of Sir Peter’s report. We absolutely see that as an important corridor.