Finnie warns Transport Bill doesn’t address poverty or do enough to tackle deaths from air pollution

Scottish Greens Transport spokesperson John Finnie MSP today (21 Nov) warned that the Scottish Government’s proposed Transport Bill doesn’t address poverty or do enough to tackle deaths from air pollution.

During today’s meeting of Holyrood’s Rural Economy & Connectivity Committee, Mr Finnie questioned Transport Secretary Michael Matheson.

John said:

“Whilst much of the evidence has revolved around technical aspects of ticketing and Low Emission Zones (LEZs), I was keen to ask the Cabinet Secretary about the human aspects of his legislation. The Cabinet Secretary agreed with me that the Bill didn’t have direct regard to addressing the role that transport can play in addressing poverty.

“Similarly, with regard to LEZs, whilst everyone seemed happy to discuss engine types and compensation schemes, the Cabinet Secretary acknowledged that the Scottish Government had not done any projections on the implications their introduction could have for the 2,500 lives lost in Scotland each year which are directly attributable to air quality.

“I took some reassurance from an official who stated that, whilst there may be evidential challenges directly attributed any drop in deaths to the introduction of LEZs, a committee was examining this matter. I look forward to hearing back from the Cabinet Secretary on the matters of poverty and deaths from poor air quality, both matters which should have been addressed already.

“Greens will always place a greater focus on people and will continue to push for a more robust Bill which meets the widest community needs ahead of the exclusive interests of the road haulage industry or car owners.”