Offer rejected

SNP snubs road upgrade fund from Westminster

A9

Holyrood is accused of playing politics over road funding

SNP ministers have failed to take up millions of pounds from the UK government to upgrade Scotland’s roads.

Scotland Office minister David Duguid accused Nicola Sturgeon’s government of a “lack of engagement” with a key review of routes commissioned by the UK government.

Whitehall officials claim Holyrood is refusing the finance for political reasons and are now considering bypassing the Scottish government and offering money directly to local councils.

Mr Duguid, the Scotland Office minister, said counterparts in Edinburgh had access to a £20 million pot to identify potential projects that could then be funded by “levelling up” funds provided by the Treasury.

David-Duguid

David Duguid: ‘ready to work together’

This will initially focus on best ways to upgrade key routes that were identified by Sir Peter Hendy, chairman of Network Rail, earlier in the year in his Union Connectivity Review.

Mr Duguid said: “The lack of engagement from the Scottish Government on the Union Connectivity Review thus far is disappointing.

“The people of Scotland are set to miss out on the benefits of this £20m interim funding, which could improve their day-to-day lives, something for which we all should be striving for.

“Failing to engage when there is funding on the table risks leaving Scotland at a standstill.”

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