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Programme for Government: Great commitments on bus and rail, but Scotland still locked into high-carbon roads programme

Published 03 September 2019 by Transform Scotland

Transform Scotland spokesperson Jess Pepper said:

“It is fantastic to hear the First Minister acknowledging the important contribution of buses, to reducing emissions, improving health and travel choices for all. Bus users should be prioritised to avoid congestion. Buses are often overlooked but are key to many people’s everyday lives across Scotland, and we are a nation that builds buses.

“The Scottish Government now needs to talk integration of energy and transport infrastructure to deliver a public transport system for all — not just cities for electric vehicles, but places enabling safe active and fair, reliable sustainable travel for everyone.

“It is also great to see commitment on the whole rolling programme to decarbonise all of our railways, except that most of our diesel trains will retire by 2030 or soon after — so to allow new zero-emission trains to replace them, that commitment to 2035 must be 2030. Our railway needs bolder ambition fit for a Climate Emergency, building the skills and experience in Scotland. The programme is mapped, we can go now, but it must be concluded sooner than 2035. Moving freight and passengers onto rail is one of the biggest impacts we could make today to reduce our emissions.

“However, we are very disappointed that the major infrastructure projects that are currently getting the biggest capital spend and locking Scotland into high carbon infrastructure, tearing down trees, draining and moving high carbon soils, are not to be reviewed in the context of the Climate Emergency.”