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Strategy under fire

Matheson’s transport plan labelled ‘meaningless drivel’

Michael Matheson electric charging

Michael Matheson pictured at an electric charging hub

A new Scottish transport strategy billed as a 20-year vision of sustainability has been criticised as “meaningless drivel”.

Transport Secretary Michael Matheson unveiled his plan to MSPs only to be met with hostility over a lack of detail.

The Scottish Greens led the assault for the document’s “lack of firm commitment to action”. Transform Scotland, the national alliance for sustainable transport, accused Mr Matheson of hypocrisy for talking of a climate emergency while prioritising “new high-carbon infrastructure”.

Mr Matheson highlights four priorities: reducing inequalities; taking climate action; helping deliver inclusive economic growth; and improving health and wellbeing.

He made no mention of specific projects, preferring instead to present a framework within which future decisions on investment will be made.

But Scottish Greens transport spokesman John Finnie said it could barely be described as a strategy at all.

“Transport emissions are playing a significant role in our climate and public health emergencies,” he said.

“This document may acknowledge that, but without any real strategy to lower them it is meaningless drivel.”

Conservative MSP Jamie Greene said the strategy was “alarmingly bereft of detail”.

Transform Scotland insisted there was “nothing of substance” to reduce emissions.

The Scottish Government said more than 60 organisations and 6,500 individuals had made a contribution to the document.

The transport sector is responsible for 37% of all greenhouse gas emissions.

Mr Matheson accepted the “need to make sure there are tangible, very specific measures which are taken forward”.

He said these will be included in a separate delivery plan being published this summer.



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