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Climate Plan makes encouraging noises on transport — but plan lacks specifics on funding

Published 19 January 2017 by Colin Howden
Transform Scotland


NEWS RELEASE
For immediate use: Thursday 19 January 2016


CLIMATE PLAN MAKES ENCOURAGING NOISES ON TRANSPORT — BUT PLAN LACKS SPECIFICS ON FUNDING


Transform Scotland [1] today welcomed the inclusion of some new policies within the Scottish Government’s new Climate Change Plan, but remains rather unspecific on funding commitments to carry out the plans.
The previous Climate Change Plans failed to include any ‘Policies’ on transport, relying instead on a number of vague, unspecific ‘Proposals’. [2] Today’s Climate Change Plan is the third of such documents, previous versions having been published in 2011 (‘RPP1’) and 2013 (‘RPP3’).
Transform Scotland director Colin Howden said:
“The new plan is an improvement on the previous versions in as much as it does set out some policies for cutting transport emissions. The references to workplace parking levies are welcome, but there currently exists no legislative basis for implementing such schemes in Scotland. Overall, the plan is weak on demand management, relying excessively on technology change within the vehicle fleet.
“The commitment to moving to 35% of the rail network being electrified by 2032 is welcome. However, the plans are lacking in detail, and it is unclear how much of the change from 26% to 35% can be accounted for by existing plans within the current Edinburgh-Glasgow Improvement Programme (EGIP) and the newly-announced scheme for the Shotts Line.”
“Overall, we would have preferred to have seen more specifics on the volume of funds that will be invested to reduce emissions from the transport sector. The Scottish Government does of course have in place many expensive funding commitments which will markedly increase climate emissions. From its £9 billion road-building programme to its current proposals for an annual £300m Air Passenger Duty tax cut for the most polluting form of transport, it is very clear that the Scottish Ministers are still also prepared to commit to policies that will increase emissions.”
ENDS


NOTES TO EDITORS:

[1] Transform Scotland

Transform Scotland is the national alliance for sustainable transport, bringing together rail, bus and ferry operators, local authorities, national environment and conservation groups, businesses and local transport groups — see <http://transformscotland.org.uk/who-we-are/our-members/> for details.
[2] ‘Policies’ and ‘Proposals’
In the Second Report on Proposals and Policies (‘RPP2’), published in 2013, ‘Policies’ are defined as “a course of action which has been wholly or largely decided upon. In many cases policies will have committed funding and or legislation and timescales.” On the other hand, ‘Proposals’ are defined as “a suggested course of action”. See pp.52-53 for full definitions. <http://www.gov.scot/Resource/0042/00426134.pdf>.

END OF NEWS RELEASE