26 April 2021
The Scottish Ports Group has today published its six key policy priorities for the 2021 Holyrood Election, focussing on connectivity, energy transition, consenting and the environment, cruise, Freeports and fishing.
The ‘Scottish Ports Manifesto’ includes a number of key requests of the Scottish Government, including;
- A new road investment programme to ensure that ‘last mile’ connections to ports match the quality of Scotland’s port infrastructure and reduce bottlenecks.
- A review of the wider marine protection framework would be welcome to ensure that it protects and enhances habitats and species effectively without delaying sustainable development.
- To support the return to cruising in Scotland when it is safe to do so. Caution is welcomed and expected but Government must listen to assurances regarding their safe practices and COVID-19 operation procedures.
- For the Scottish Government to swiftly work with counterparts within the UK Government to launch bidding for Freeport status at their earliest opportunity after the Scottish election, in order to minimise further delay and mitigate displacement.
Stuart Cresswell, Chair of the Scottish Ports Group and Port Manager, Ayr, Troon & Silloth (Associated British Ports), said;
“Scottish ports, and the key workers within them, play a fundamental role in ensuring vital supplies and provisions are delivered to the people of Scotland – a fact which we believe to be even more visible in the wake of the COVID-19 pandemic.
We hope that the incoming Government recognise this and shall be willing to work with us on these policy matters outlined within our ‘Ports Manifesto’.
This is a forward-looking, positive programme of proposals that we hope all those standing for election will be able to sign up to, to the benefit of industry and Scotland’s overall prosperity.”
Simon Brebner, Vice-Chair of the Scottish Ports Group and Chief Executive of Peterhead Port Authority, said;
“Forming the basis of our asks of Government for the next parliamentary term, we hope that all standing for election consider our Manifesto and understand the imperatives of providing a thriving economic environment for Scotland’s ports and communities.
We look forward to working with the incoming Government on these policy matters, to ensure that the critical role played by Scotland’s ports is reflected in and supported by the policy landscape.”
The Scottish Ports Group is the only industry-led forum representing the views of this important and dynamic sector, which contributes billions of pounds to the Scottish economy. It is facilitated by the British Ports Association and represents all the major ports in Scotland, as well as numerous smaller harbours.