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Climate Plan: Parliament recommendations on transport ignored

Published 28 February 2018 by Transform Scotland

Commenting on the publication of the final version of the Climate Change Plan, Transform Scotland director Colin Howden said:

“There are many welcome proposals set out in the transport section of the Climate Change Plan. Low Emission Zones, investment in low carbon ferries and rail electrification, and the longer-term phase-out of fossil fuel vehicles all deserve support.

“However, the Plan’s focus remains squarely on technofix measures rather than initiatives to manage road traffic demand and to deliver modal shift from private cars to walking, cycling and public transport. In this, the Scottish Ministers have decided to ignore the recommendations of the Scottish Parliament scrutiny of the draft Plan.”

The Parliament’s Rural Economy and Connectivity Committee recommended that the Government amend the final Plan to include Policies which:

  • Focus on traffic demand reduction.
  • Achieve a modal shift away from private car use to walking, cycling and public transport.
  • Incentivise bus use and reverse the decline in bus patronage.
  • Achieve the Government’s target for 10% of journeys to be by bike by 2020.

Howden concluded:

“The Plan is rather opaque as to exactly how much funds will come from the Scottish Government’s own funds in order to deliver carbon reductions. While the extra £40m for active travel announced in September last year is very welcome, it remains a drop in the ocean compared to committed programmes of high-carbon transport to which Scottish Ministers are wedded, such as its £9,000m road-building programme or its proposed £300m APD annual tax subsidy for the aviation industry.”