Richard Holden has outlined the government’s commitment to developing new green technologies as part of an official visit to Scotland, with £143m being allocated to related projects.
The minister was in Glasgow to see new hydrogen-powered and self-driving trucks, developed by a project backed by £16m in government funding, which are intended to make roads safer, increase productivity and help protect the environment.
This investment aligns with government ambitions to achieve net zero by 2050 and ensure the UK maximises the opportunities offered by new technologies in tandem with the creation of highly-skilled jobs.
Holden also toured Ravenscraig, which has received £127m investment jointly funded by the UK government, Scottish government and North Lanarkshire Council to improve connectivity between local towns and cities, create jobs and encourage more people to walk and cycle.
Richard Holden, transport minister, said: “Innovation like this in Scotland will help the UK become a world-leading next-generation transport hub by protecting the environment and meeting our global ambitions.
“Boosting transport connections across the UK will grow the economy and ensure that everyone no matter where they live has access to well-paid, high-quality jobs.”
The regeneration of the Ravenscraig site is estimated to generate 4,600 construction jobs and generate £626m for the local economy.
This funding is part of the Glasgow Region City Deal, which saw more than £1bn in funding committed to major infrastructure projects in Glasgow and its surrounding areas from the UK and Scottish governments.
John Lamont, UK government minister for Scotland, said: “UK government investment is helping power Scotland into the fast lane of sustainable transport innovation and delivering improved connectivity – levelling up the UK and bringing communities closer together.
“From hydrogen-powered and self-driving trucks being developed in Glasgow, the regeneration of Ravenscraig’s road, rail, cycling and walking infrastructure, a new ferry to save Fair Isle, to a green transport hub in Dundee, we are working to improve people’s journeys, boost economic growth and protect the environment.”
Minister Holden also met local businesses and communities to explore how investment in road schemes, railway lines and domestic flights between Scotland and the rest of the UK could boost connectivity and encourage economic growth.