Alison small pic

Alison Johnstone, MSP for Lothian and Scottish Green Party spokesperson on health, has today called on the Scottish Government to take decisive action to increase active travel for children  after the Royal College of Paediatrics and Child Health has called for 20mph speed limits in its manifesto asks.

Alison argued for proper investment in walking and cycling infrastructure and limits to the use of private cars in cities and suburbs. She also highlighted the health impact of air pollution caused by car traffic, and called on the Government to improve air quality by limiting the use of diesel-fuelled vehicles and making public transport cheaper and cleaner.

Alison said:

"Encouraging our kids to cycle and walk more will  get them into good, healthy habits, but will also help tackle the dangerous levels of pollution in our cities. The Scottish Greens have been arguing for bold policies that limit car traffic and increase active travel for years, but our calls have been largely ignored by both Labour and SNP governments.

"In order to ensure all our children get a healthy start to their lives, we must tackle the deep inequalities that burden our society - through improving education, welfare provisions and families' incomes. While we recognise that these injustices cannot be solved overnight, there are a number of very clear, simple policy changes the Scottish Government can and should make right now. This means strict limits to car use and speed in our cities and suburbs, and a commitment to put 10% of the national transport budget towards active travel. It also means making public transport more affordable to people so they don't need to rely on cars.

"The failure to implement these simple policies shows complacency in business as usual - I urge the Scottish Government to put the health and safety of our young ones first, and to work with councils to make our cities healthy, good places to grow up in."