The Green Party has issued a call in the Scottish Parliament to transfer as much freight as possible from road to rail arguing it would improve things for passengers, the environment and the roads.
Highlands and Islands Green MSP John Finnie wants to see the Scottish Government increase capacity to ensure more freight can be transported by rail. That is after Michael Matheson, the Cabinet Secretary for Transport, Infrastructure and Connectivity, told parliament that only 4.3 per cent of freight is carried by rail.
Mr Finnie then highlighted the potential benefits of improving the Highland Main Line and reinstating the Levenmouth Rail Link which could carry both freight and passenger services.
He said: "It is quite remarkable that only around four per cent of freight in Scotland is transported by rail. The Scottish Government should be prioritising moving freight off our roads and onto the rails. Not only would this help us to meet our climate change obligations, it would make our communities safer by removing large numbers of HGVs from our roads."
Mr Finnie believes delays to advancing proposals that aid the transportation of goods and passengers are a concern.
He said: "There is a great deal of frustration at the length of time it can take to progress rail projects, which can increase capacity for both passenger and freight services. For instance, it has taken several years to develop proposals for the Highland Spring freight terminal at Blackford. "The Levenmouth Rail Link, and work to dual the Highland Main Line, are two major projects which could dramatically increase freight capacity in Scotland, and must be brought forward by the Scottish Government in its upcoming programme of works, which covers the period from 2019-2024. I am disappointed that the Cabinet Secretary would not commit to promoting these projects."