We are all familiar with the SNP's broken promises by now: no scrapping of Council Tax; no reduction of primary school class sizes; no writing off student debt; no 1000 extra police officers; no protection for A&E units; no grant for first time house buyers etc.
Now we can add to that list a complete reversal of their commitment to invest in public transport provision, particularly in the west of Scotland. Finance Secretary John Swinney's recent decision to axe the Glasgow Airport Rail Link (GARL) is another blow for Scotland's largest city, and yet more evidence of an Edinburgh biase from the Nationalists. After expressing his anger at the decision, the leader of Glasgow City Council Steven Purcell (Lab), was apparently told to "behave like a grown up" by the First Minister. Charming, but perhaps not out of character for Salmond.
The rail link has long been considered a vital compotent of modernising the west of Scotland's ageing transport network and injecting a huge boost to the wider economy. The scheme would have safeguarded thousands of jobs in engineering, planning, construction and environmental monitoring, as well as supporting the city's growing business tourism and conference destination reputation. 95% of users travel to Glasgow airport by road, with the only other option of getting into the city centre an expensive taxi or bus. Numbers through the airport are predicted to double by 2030, and with the Commonwealth Games in 2014, this was the perfect opportunity to at last improve travel choice and provide a modern, efficient and long term solution to infrastructure problems in the west of Scotland.
Laughably, Swinney has attempted to ease concerns by committing to a 'Fastlink' system, which is simply another term for an extra bus lane. It is quite depressing that, despite all the evidence from other European cities, successive administrations still cannot acknowledge the importance of an efficient, integrated transport infrastructure to the economic success of a region. Let's hope that the other main parties pledge their commitment to reinstating GARL and that this wretched party are removed from power at the next opportunity.