Transport Scotland today has released new statistics which show that the bus sector is in crisis, and the car continues to be king on our roads.
Key points (all stats are for 2015):
Commenting on the statistics, Emilia Hanna, Air Pollution Campaigner for Friends of the Earth Scotland said:
“Year after year cars increasingly dominate our transport choices, causing deadly air pollution, climate change emissions, levels of congestion that are choking our urban centres, and forcing the significant chunk of society that does not have access to a car into massive disadvantage.
“Three quarters of public transport journeys are by bus but the bus sector in Scotland is in dire straits, with only Edinburgh bucking the trend of decline. Rural services are being cut, urban services are often confused and don’t link up well as a network, and fares continue to increase at the expense of those who depend on the bus. Buses are a big part of the solution to air pollution and the Scottish Government urgently needs to reform how buses are regulated to make it easier for local authorities to operate functioning bus networks which work in the public interest rather than try to join up piecemeal services.
“The European Commission is on the brink of taking legal action against the UK for continued illegal air pollution in cities across the country including Glasgow, and these figures show that cars are the main source of the problem, but the Scottish Government needs to move much more quickly on tackling this public health crisis.
“The Government has promised a Low Emission Zone by 2018 in one city, but we need much, much more. We need less reliance on cars, if we are to have create cleaner air, less congestion and a fairer transport system. The Scottish Government and local councils must make it easier for more of us to walk, cycle, and use public transport. The Scottish Government and local councils must invest at least 10% of transport budgets into walking and cycling.
“The Scottish Government’s aim is only for 40% of new car sales to be ultra low emissions by 2032, despite advice from their official advisors to aim for 65% and much higher targets in other countries. Switching to electric vehicles is important this won't help those who already can't afford a car and completely misses the health benefits of getting far more people walking and cycling. Swapping all the petrol and diesel vehicles for electric ones will do nothing to tackle congestion.”
1. The Transport Statistics can be viewed at http://www.transport.gov.scot/statistics/scottish-transport-statistics-a...
2. It was recently estimated that congestion costs Scottish car owners £2.4 Billion through extra fuel for each driver, lost productivity and the extra costs to businesses. http://www.heraldscotland.com/news/15103472.Traffic_congestion_in_Scotla...
3. SNP promised to implement a Low Emission Zone if they are the largest party in Glasgow Council after the May elections. http://www.eveningtimes.co.uk/news/15049260.Glasgow_could_be_first_low_e...
4. Health impacts of air pollution:
5. The European Commission issued a final warning against the UK for breaches of air quality legal limits in 16 areas including Glasgow on 15 February 2017. http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/uk-politics-38980510
6. There have already been two air pollution episodes in Scotland this year, that is, days on which World Health Organisation safety standards for pollution have been broken: http://www.foe-scotland.org.uk/air-pollution-episode-feb17
7. Friends of the Earth Scotland revealed Scotland’s most polluted streets on 15th January 2017. They also disclosed that there are now 38 pollution zones across the country. http://www.foe-scotland.org.uk/most-polluted-streets
8. Friends of the Earth Scotland is