SNP MSP for Hamilton, Larkhall and Stonehouse, Christina McKelvie, has warmly welcomed over £3.4 billion investment for transport announced in the SNP Scottish Government’s draft budget last week, to increase sustainable travel in South Lanarkshire.

The investment in the 2022/23 draft budget dedicates £314 million to support concessionary bus travel scheme which older people and disabled people are already benefitting from, with £110 million earmarked specifically for expanding the scheme to under 22s in South Lanarkshire and across Scotland.

It also invests a record £150 million to support high quality active travel for people walking, wheeling and cycling in Hamilton, Larkhall and Stonehouse, as well as £35 million in the next year to support Scotland’s Zero Emission Bus Challenge Fund and £112 million to support a range of sustainable low and zero carbon transport initiatives.

People in South Lanarkshire will also benefit from an improved and decarbonised rail network which will be supported by almost £1.4 billion.

Commenting, Christina said:

“The SNP Scottish Government is prioritising investing in a practical transport system that goes hand in hand with our responsibility to end our contribution to climate change and meets the needs of people in Hamilton, Larkhall and Stonehouse.

“We have set ourselves world leading, ambitious targets to tackle the climate emergency and I am delighted that last week’s budget showed the SNP providing the investment needed to allow us to meet them - and take the bold but transitional steps we need to take to create a better and greener transport network for us all.

“So many people across South Lanarkshire already benefit from free concessionary bus travel and expanding the scheme to young people under 22 years old will help establish positive sustainable travel habits in our younger generations.

“If we want more people across Scotland choosing public or active travel options then we need to make it an easy, attractive choice.

“We are asking people to make significant shifts in their usual way of getting about so the almost £1.4 billion in 2022-23 for Scotland’s rail network and record investment for walking, wheeling and cycling of £150 million next year is incredibly welcome.

“This budget shows the SNP’s commitment to creating the largest transport investment programme that Scotland has ever seen despite relentless Westminster budget cuts.”