FTA meets Gordon in the path of the Hampden roar

Posted on: Friday, 4 February 2011 by Mike Webb in categories Media and campaigns, Scotland

In the teeth of a vicious rainy gale blowing through Glasgow, FTA’s Mike Webb and Chris MacRae have been talking logistics with the man hoping to be Scotland’s next Transport Minister.

Scottish Labour’s Shadow Minister for Transport, Infrastructure and Climate Change, Charlie Gordon MSP, welcomed FTA to his constituency office on Friday. As MSP for Glasgow Cathcart, Mr Gordon’s office is found in a temporary office building shared with Queen’s Park FC in the imposing shadow of Hampden Park, Scotland’s spectacular national football stadium.

Once the FTA men were out of the worst of the weather, attention turned to the future of the Freight Facilities Grant, with Mr Gordon (who spoke in November to the Scottish Supply Chain Forum) keen to impress his belief that the SNP government would at least partially rethink the swingeing cuts originally planned to the grants scheme in their recent Budget, by re-allocating funds planned for other transport uses.

Although FFG was very much the meat of the conversation, attention also turned to life under a potential Labour government. Mr Gordon was quite honest that the Forth Crossing would be safe in Labour hands, however the next priority must be getting Glasgow ready for the 2014 Commonwealth Games. He was also keen to hear FTA’s view on the reasons for the tragic failure to cope with the extreme weather of last winter, and the need for partnership working between all the authorities with a stake in managing Scotland’s response.

With the forthcoming election too close to call, it will be interesting to see come May whether Mr Gordon and his Labour colleagues are afforded the opportunity to put these plans into practice by the Scottish people.

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