CyclingEdinburgh.info

Reactions to National Transport Strategy

Posted by chdot on December 5, 2006

As expected, a mixture of ‘welcome’, ‘so, so’ and ‘could do better’ reactions to today’s document (below). Criticism centred on whether or not there was serious concern for Climate Change and what measures would be most appropriate.

Friends of the Earth Scotland‘s Chief Executive, Duncan McLaren said “If the Executive is genuine about reducing road traffic levels and emissions, the first thing it should do is ditch its environmentally-destructive plans for the Glasgow M74 urban motorway and the Aberdeen bypass.”

“While we welcome some elements, such as retaining the road traffic stabilisation target and enforcing existing speed limits, we’re disappointed at the failure to put emission reduction at the heart of the strategy. The Executive has failed to get serious with tackling climate emissions from the transport sector. A national road pricing scheme could be 10 years away – and we don’t have that long to get a grip on emissions.”

Paul Tetlaw, Chair of TRANSform Scotland, said “The strategy says all the right things. However, it remains to be seen whether the Executive will be prepared to take action to deliver the improvements it sets out.”

“It is imperative that the Executive moves forward the implementation of road pricing, and not just talk about it. Motorists and road hauliers don’t pay for the damage they do to the environment, and road pricing will be essential if we are to tackle climate change emissions from the transport sector.”

“Unfortunately, the Executive has continued with the fiction that the technology for road pricing doesn’t exist: tell that to the German transport ministry – they’ve had a satellite-based road charging scheme in operation for the past two years.”

TryCycling in Edinburgh, the promotional ‘umbrella’ for cycle organisations in Edinburgh welcomed the commitment from the Scottish Executive to walking and cycling.

Co-ordinator Maggie Wynn says “This new Transport Strategy is a significant step forward. The emphasis on improving conditions for people in urban areas isn’t new, but the force with which the ideas are put forward is. While the SE accepts that decisions to reallocate road space away from private motor vehicles are for local authorities to take, it is firmly advocating that it should be done. This Strategy also provides evidence that the effects will have many benefits – environmental, social and economic.”

QUOTE FROM REPORT “As a result, the urban environment becomes more liveable. In these car free or car reduced spaces, pedestrians and cyclists enjoy a cleaner, quieter and safer environment – and bus users have a higher quality service.”

Maggie Wynn also adds “In general this report signals a new attitude and the Executive has, for a change, actually made reasonable amounts of money available through Sustrans and Cycling Scotland.  The number of people cycling in Edinburgh is increasing steadily – see new SPOKES survey. Our work with schools, community groups and adults is demonstrating that smaller things such as training and encouragement are often more effective than grand schemes.” 

“We are particularly pleased that there is a strong emphasis on schools and children – especially the recognition that Cycle Training is important. Availability across Scotland is very varied. In Edinburgh it is not currently done with much enthusiasm as the Police do not regard it as a priority.”

“It is widely recognised that ‘the school run’ is a problem. Parents drive their children to school for a variety of reasons, one of which is ‘safety’. By driving they are making the roads LESS safe. There is no simple solution. Better Public Transport will only make a difference in a few cases. What is needed is a wide range of small measures to encourage walking and cycling from an early age. At first with adults and then independently when children are old enough.”

“The recent Cycling Scotland Conference concluded that both physical measures such as a cycle lanes and ‘softer’ promotional ones are needed. TryCycling is happy to encourage the former and help deliver the latter”.

One Response to “Reactions to National Transport Strategy”

  1. This is a comment. To delete comments please go to dashboard and click manage and either approve, delete and mark spam.

    Mrs WordPress Helping Agian

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