A draft co-operation agreement between the Scottish Greens and the Scottish Government will transform Scotland’s transport network if approved by party members this weekend, Scottish Greens co-leader Patrick Harvie has said.
The agreement, published last week, would see the budget for safe walking and cycling routes treble to over £300 million, £5 billion for maintaining, improving and decarbonising Scotland’s railways, ensure that public transport becomes an affordable choice for all, and an end to new major road projects. While the A9 dualling programme will be completed, and safety improvements to the A96 will proceed, full dualling of the A96 subject to a review of the impact this project would have on the climate.
Patrick Harvie MSP said:
“Scotland has not met its climate commitments in recent years, and rising emissions from transport have been one of the main causes of this. Getting back on track means taking determined action to deliver a green, fair and affordable transport system for everyone. The draft co-operation agreement presents us with a golden opportunity to begin that process. If approved by our party membership, the Scottish Greens would take the lead on transforming Scotland’s transport network by investing in safe walking and cycling infrastructure and addressing affordability on public transport.
“During lockdown the number of people cycling skyrocketed, as roads were far quieter than usual. But, as traffic levels have returned to normal fewer people have felt safe enough to continue cycling regularly. This agreement would put significant investment into safe routes to ensure everyone is able to walk, wheel and cycle safely in cities, towns and villages across Scotland.
“We also need action to make public transport cheaper, so the deal will mean a review of fares on buses, ferries and trains. We are proud to have led the way on introducing free bus travel for under 22s and we want to build on that to ensure Scotland’s public transport network is affordable and accessible to all as we set about building a transport network fit for the 21st century.”