This not only benefits public health by cutting air pollution and reduces climate change emissions but it creates highly skilled jobs for our economy.John Finnie MSP
John Finnie MSP, transport spokesperson for the Scottish Greens, today (26 Nov) called on the Scottish Government to accelerate its Green Bus Fund, warning that at the current rate, it will take 76 years to convert the whole fleet to low emissions vehicles.
So far, only 362 buses out of a 4,300-strong fleet have been “greened”, meaning the vast majority of buses on the road are continuing to contribute to air pollution and public health problems, and climate change emissions.
The call follows recent analysis by the Greens showing that just 25.6 per cent of the Scottish Government's proposed capital spending is on low-carbon infrastructure, far behind expert recommendations of 70 per cent to limit climate change.
Mr Finnie is urging Scottish Ministers to accelerate investment in buses with:
• Greater focus on infrastructure such as charging points as the Green Bus Fund currently assists the purchase of new vehicles but offers no support for infrastructure.
• A faster speed of roll-out rather than 76 years at the current rate.
• A proper strategy to build on the fund so there is a clear goal of greening the entire fleet and reversing the decline in bus patronage.
• Sufficient resources to enable the Green Bus Fund to support the roll-out of Low Emissions Zones to protect public health in town and city centres.
John Finnie MSP said:
“Uptake of the Scottish Government’s Green Bus Fund is low and at the current rate it would take more than 70 years to green the entire fleet. The government need to come forward with proposals which encourage operators and manufacturers to accelerate investment in low-carbon vehicles. There must also be consideration given to the infrastructure, such as charging points, which supports this investment.
"I recently visited the Alexander Dennis production facility at Camelon where it's clear to see that Scotland is well placed to manufacture low emissions buses. This not only benefits public health by cutting air pollution and reduces climate change emissions but it creates highly skilled jobs for our economy. By accelerating the Green Bus Fund, Scottish Ministers can speed up our journey towards a public transport system fit for purpose."