Legislative plans a ‘missed opportunity’ on green transport

- Advertisement -

The programme for government was a “missed opportunity” on green transport, campaigners have said.

First Minister Nicola Sturgeon was praised for setting out measures including £15 million for an extra 1,500 electric charging points for vehicles.

But environmental organisations said the plans did not go far enough to drive transformational change towards low-carbon transport.

Transform Scotland director Colin Howden said: “The announcement of 1,500 new electric vehicle charge points, ‘Switched on Taxis’, and investment in Mobility as a Service will help to varying degrees in decarbonising transport.

“But the intended level of investment here is pitifully small compared to that being spent on the multi-billion road-building programme.

“The announcement sees no additional investment in walking and cycling, the most healthy and sustainable modes of transport.

“There is also no new investment for bus services beyond the £1.7m for the previously-announced Scottish Green Bus Fund.”

Friends of the Earth Scotland director Dr Richard Dixon said: “Investment in electric vehicles and active travel is encouraging, but this was a missed opportunity to enable local authorities to run their own bus services in the interests of local people.

“Councils should also be given powers to implement Workplace Parking Levies to help cut the the toxic air pollution and congestion in our cities.”

Alister Hamilton, Electric Vehicle Association (EVA) Scotland director, welcomed the measures.

“We are delighted with the Scottish Government’s commitment to support widespread adoption of electric travel north of the border,” he said.

“Targets to phase out the production of new petrol and diesel cars and vans by 2032 can only be achieved with the correct infrastructure in place.”

Claire Mack, chief executive of Scottish Renewables, said: “Expansion of Scotland’s electric vehicle infrastructure will make it easier for drivers to cut carbon and take advantage of the renewable power produced here in Scotland while embracing the shift to a smarter, more modern energy system.”

Elsewhere there was praise for a biodiversity challenge fund to support habitat creation projects and encourage increased access to nature.

Anne McCall, director of RSPB Scotland, said: “We are delighted that the Government has announced a Biodiversity Challenge Fund of up to £2 million.

“This will support the delivery of key projects that will allow Scotland to move closer to making good on its 2020 commitments under the UN Convention on the Conservation of Biological Diversity.

“However, the funding for this needs to be sufficient and ongoing to guarantee achievements that we can be proud of in Beijing, where the 2020 conference for this critical international treaty will take place.”

Scottish Natural Heritage chair Mike Cantlay said: “As the First Minister has clearly stated, ‘Scotland is a beautiful country and we are blessed with abundant natural resources to rival the best in the world.

“We recognise that it is our duty to protect and enhance these assets as essential to our economy, culture, way of life and the wellbeing of future generations.

“The announcement of a new Biodiversity Challenge Fund of up to £2m to aid and improve habitats for our key species and encourage, where appropriate, greater access to Scotland’s fabulous nature is a really strong signal and direction of that focus, a focus we all need to place on protecting and enhancing our great outdoors.”

- Advertisement -
- Advertisement -
- Advertisement -

Latest Stories

- Advertisement -

UK News

- Advertisement -
- Advertisement -

Read the latest free supplements

Read the Town Crier, Le Rocher and a whole host of other subjects like mortgage advice, business, cycling, travel and property.