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ICE Scotland voices concern about energy and local transport

Scotland’s energy and local transport infrastructure urgently needs investment to improve its resilience, according to ICE Scotland’s latest State of the Nation scorecard, published last week.

The Scorecard, released once every Parliamentary term, grades five areas of Scottish infrastructure - energy, transport, flooding, water and waste. It is compiled using evidence from independent and impartial expert members and stakeholders.

An A grade means the network is “fit for the future”, B is “adequate for now”, C means it “requires attention”, D means it is “at risk” and an E grade signals the network is “unfit for purpose”. 

The major areas of concern for the Scottish Government were energy infrastructure - down from C in 2011 to C-minus - and local transport infrastructure, which was graded at D-plus.

The report says there have been some improvements in strategic transport - up from a C to a B minus. The water and waste water sector continued to perform well, maintaining its 2011 B grade, and the state of waste infrastructure has improved - up from C in 2011 to C-plus today. Flood defences maintained a C or “requires attention” grade.

Chair of the State of the Nation Scotland steering group, Ronnie Hunter said: “Any country which wants to promote economic growth and improve its citizens’ quality of life needs to maintain a high quality and resilient infrastructure.

“Our energy, transport, flooding, water and waste systems must be resilient in the face of our changing demographics and our changing climate. Our independent, expert report analyses whether or not they are,” he said.

“Our grades show that most areas of Scotland’s infrastructure require attention. Although there is some good news, such as in the areas of waste and strategic transport, there are serious question marks over the resilience of our energy and local transport infrastructure.

“To address these particular concerns, we have called for a mature and rational debate on how we generate energy, and we are also calling for the Scottish Government to work with local authorities to address the £2bn maintenance backlog in Scotland’s local roads.

“A country cannot fully serve its people without good infrastructure. While giving credit to the Scottish Government in the areas where it is deserved, it is our job to highlight those to which ministers must turn their attention with urgency if we are to have resilience and sustainability.”

  • View the full report: here

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