Improved journeys for travelling public

Scotland will have a cleaner, smarter and more accessible transport network with MSPs voting to pass the Transport (Scotland) Bill following the Stage 3 debate this afternoon.

Measures to give local authorities options to improve bus services and help reverse the decline in passenger numbers, improve the air quality in our towns and cities through low emission zones and address pavement and double parking will now go on to become law. Information on bus services will also improve and the implementation of smart ticketing will be accelerated to make public transport an easier option.

The provisions in the Bill recognise the importance of reducing transport emissions in the light of the Global Climate Emergency and underline the contribution that the transport system can make to improving social and economic well-being.

Cabinet Secretary for Transport, Infrastructure and Connectivity Michael Matheson said:

“The measures included in the Transport Bill will lead to improved journeys for the travelling public, building on the work that is already underway to reduce emissions to help us meet our world-leading climate change targets.

“The Bill supports our efforts to make public and sustainable transport the preferred travel options. It empowers local authorities to address local transport needs through new options for improving bus services to help address the decline in passenger numbers. Those measures include a new statutory partnership model, franchising and the ability for local authorities to run buses themselves. We are supporting the Bill through over £500 million in bus priority infrastructure investment which was announced in the Programme for Government to help reduce the effects of congestion on services.

“The Low Emission Zones provisions will improve air quality with Scotland’s four largest cities already committed to their introduction and local authorities are also being given a new tool to address the climate emergency with the discretionary powers for a Workplace Parking Levy.

“The Bill puts into law the requirement for the Scottish Government to have a National Transport Strategy and in doing so recognises the contribution that transport makes to society, including enabling the realisation of human rights and reduction of poverty and inequality . 

“I now look forward to working with our partners to put these measures into practice, protecting our climate and improving lives in the process.”

Published 10 Oct 2019