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'Integrated transport is one of the most significant issues facing the Scottish Parliament,' says Morrison chairman Sir Fraser Morrison. 'It has an important role in shaping Scotland's transport plans, while local authorities set up and implement plans at a local level.'

This need for the Scottish Parliament to address Scotland's transport network is echoed across the private sector.

'Scotland's ability to grow is damaged by a poor transport infrastructure,' says Glasgow Chamber of Commerce chief executive Peter Burdon. 'For example in the west of Scotland, because the M74 was never completed, you have to go all the way round Glasgow to get to Glasgow Airport from the south. This route is choc-a-bloc particularly over the Kingston Bridge - but there is no alternative. This means you cannot guarantee transportation times which is important in today's just-in-time business environment.'

However, local authorities fear a centralisation of powers will come at their expense.

'Transport is an area where the Scottish Parliament has the ability to make a big impact,' claims City of Edinburgh head of special projects Alex MacAulay. 'But there is a danger that it will want to control not only the purse strings but also delivery, taking over from local authorities. That could lead to centralisation and remoteness.'

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