Linda Fabiani MSP for East Kilbride has asked South Lanarkshire Council’s Taskforce for East Kilbride to consider the importance of a suitable transport strategy to support economic growth in the town.
“I am very positive about East Kilbride and know that the town has masses of untapped potential that South Lanarkshire Council has yet to unleash. East Kilbride started from such a high point that it has missed out on investment over the years meaning that as economic activity has moved away from South Lanarkshire and flagship companies have chosen to end their presence in the town, East Kilbride’s decline has been felt more acutely compared to South Lanarkshire as a whole.
“To restore East Kilbride to its proper place as Scotland’s biggest and most successful town, South Lanarkshire Council’s Taskforce must consider the impact an ineffective transport strategy would have as we rebuild our local economy. East Kilbride must have a transport network and strategy to meet the needs of our town and encourages growth.
“The most obvious barrier people face in terms of people spending their money in East Kilbride is car parking charges. I understand the problems involved with the car parking charges but the fact of the matter is that unless this issue is resolved, people will continue to travel to easily accessible, out of town, free parking shopping centres.
“A solution must be sought and before another competitor springs up in Ravenscraig. We must make it easy for people to come to East Kilbride and spend their money.
“We need to look at how our transport system joins up. We need to look at the connections between our train stations and bus station. How can people quickly get about our town and to surrounding places? Is East Kilbride an easy place to navigate using public transport?
“I would argue that it could be so much better and call on the Taskforce to ensure that its plan for East Kilbride meets the transport needs for residents, but also for the people we want to come to East Kilbride to spend money and attract to the town for work. Businesses will look at how easy it is for their employees to get to their place of work when deciding where to invest. We must ensure that East Kilbride meets their criteria and is the number one choice for new business.
“East Kilbride must be fully integrated into the Glasgow city-region transport plan if it is to play its role as a strategic business centre for the area. Of course we need to modernise many of our industrial and commercial buildings, but we cannot neglect the infrastructure. Many of surrounding areas have had their transport systems improved over the years and we must now ensure that we are able to compete and are not left behind due to out-dated and under-invested transport systems.
“East Kilbride boasts many successful, well known and economically significant companies. There is a will to do business in East Kilbride. We have a number of brown field sites in the town providing us with an opportunity to modernise and encourage a diverse range of new businesses to locate to East Kilbride and for existing businesses expand their presence in the town. These sites have to be accessible if they are to be utilised, therefore the Taskforce have to get the transport strategy right if they want to maximise East Kilbride’s potential.
“South Lanarkshire Council’s Taskfore have the opportunity to deliver something wonderful for East Kilbride. They must take this opportunity and run with it. East Kilbride deserves an ambitious vision and thorough strategy to restore it to its rightful place as the jewel in South Lanarkshire’s crown.”