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Parliamentary debates and questions

S5W-07631: John Finnie (Highlands and Islands)

Scottish Green Party

Date lodged: 1 March 2017

To ask the Scottish Government what evidence it used to assert in its publication, Draft Climate Change Plan - the draft Third Report on Policies and Proposals 2017-2032, that modal switch to bus use is “likely to be limited by capacity of the sector to absorb significant new traffic".

Answered by: Humza Yousaf 14 March 2017

In making this determination, the Scottish Government consulted the Carbon Account for Transport. This shows that 50% of the total emissions from road transport arise on the rural road network. Our own survey data shows that the proportion of bus journeys undertaken in rural areas is significantly lower than that of urban areas. As such, currently in rural areas there can be limited capacity for mode shift to bus. The conclusion was based on the scale of the shift required against the size of the overall sector.

As the plan is a draft, we have been engaging with stakeholders on the plan, including the bus sector. The bus sector is keen to play its part and has emphasised that bus is by its very nature a flexible sector able to react more quickly than fixed modes. We will reflect this contribution in the final plan.