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National charities call for review of government’s transport spending plans

Published 24 November 2020 by Transform Scotland

Paths for All, RSPB Scotland, Sustrans Scotland, Transform Scotland & WWF Scotland send joint letter to Scottish Ministers

A group of national transport and environment charities have today (Tuesday 24th) written to Cabinet Secretary Michael Matheson to express their “deep concern” at the transport spending priorities set out in the Scottish Government’s draft Infrastructure Investment Plan, and to call upon the Scottish Ministers to review the capital expenditure priorities in the draft Plan in line with the Government’s Climate Emergency commitment.

The letter has been sent from Paths for All, RSPB Scotland, Sustrans Scotland, Transform Scotland and WWF Scotland.

The letter notes that transport is a major source of climate change emissions, yet:

  • Scottish transport policy has had a historically strong bias towards high-carbon transport infrastructure.
  • Despite the Scottish Government’s Climate Emergency commitment, the draft Plan fails to reprioritise transport infrastructure priorities in line with climate commitments.
  • Specifically, the Plan continues to support Transport Scotland’s multi-billion pound road building programme yet contains no new or additional funds for sustainable transport investment.

The groups call upon the Scottish Ministers to “reassess the transport spending priorities and individual projects contained in the draft Infrastructure Investment Plan in line with Scotland’s climate goals, the Infrastructure Commission’s recommendations and the new investment hierarchy contained within the draft Plan”.

Transform Scotland director Colin Howden said:

“The Infrastructure Investment Plan fails to prioritise investment in low-carbon, sustainable transport. Instead, it continues with the same old set of high-carbon roads projects that has made transport the single largest source of emissions in Scotland. The Plan contains plenty of window-dressing about future transport investment decisions following climate prioritise. But this is deeply inadequate. In order to make deep cuts in climate emissions, we need to see transport investment prioritised on climate change grounds now.”