Commenting on the Scottish Government’s announcement today, that the M74 motorway project has been completed ahead of time and under budget, Stan Blackley, Chief Executive of Friends of the Earth Scotland, said:

“The Scottish Government is stating today that its ‘robust management’ of the M74 project has delivered cost savings, yet it’s entirely possible that these may have actually been achieved through creative accounting instead?

“At the moment, it is unclear whether the completion cost being quoted by Ministers for the M74 project includes the significant expense of cleaning up contaminated land along the route of the new road, the cost of which could likely have run into tens of millions of pounds – the same as the so-called savings being lauded by Ministers. Is this cost included in the completion total being quoted? This is the question we’d like Scottish Ministers to answer.

“Just today, we’ve seen media coverage of a damning report, which states that Glasgow may be forced to ban traffic locally to try to bring air pollution levels down in the run-up to the 2014 Commonwealth Games. It is ironic, to say the least, that the M74 is being touted as a piece of Commonwealth Games-driven infrastructure but may actually end up being closed to traffic to facilitate clean air for the athletes at the Games.

“Glasgow has one of the worst records for Nitrogen Dioxide air pollution in the UK, and the M74 completion will do nothing to solve that. In fact, it may just make the problem worse.”

ENDS

For media enquiries, please contact: Per Fischer, Press Office, Friends of the Earth Scotland
t: 0131 243 2719

Notes to Editors

Friends of the Earth Scotland is * Scotland’s leading environmental campaigning organisation * An independent Scottish charity with a network of thousands of supporters and active local groups across Scotland * Part of the largest grassroots environmental network in the world, uniting over 2 million supporters, 77 national member groups, and some 5,000 local activist groups – covering every continent.
www.foe-scotland.org.uk