For immediate release 14 December 2011
Commenting on today's publication of the latest national transport statistics*, Scottish Greens have expressed dismay at the continued absence of progress in bringing about the sustainable and affordable transport system that Scotland needs.
Greens argue that although there is a drop in overall traffic levels, this is most likely a result of the recession, rather than the impact of Government policies. Greenhouse gas emissions from transport as a proportion of total Scottish emissions now stand at 26.6%.**
Patrick Harvie MSP said:
"While there may be some short term benefits to the environment from these lower traffic levels, Scotland could have a much higher standard of living and fewer costs if we reduce the need to travel by better planning of our towns and protecting local services and small businesses. Without those policies, today’s figures are no reason to celebrate.
"The proportion of people using public transport as opposed to the car hasn’t shifted. Far too many people feel that public transport doesn’t meet their needs, and the Government must take these figures as a wake-up call to change its investment priorities.
"In particular, buses are hugely important in most of Scotland, and far too often come way down the Government’s priorities. Walking and cycling barely rate a mention, which gives me no confidence that the Government will achieve its aim of a big increase in active travel."
* Transport Scotland statistics:
**Above report, table 5.13 on page 127 of report