Ministers in Scotland urged to increase road car tax to help fund more sustainable transport

Ministers in Scotland have been urged to increase road tax for car owners to help aid funding for more sustainable transport as part of a number of recommendations to help tackle climate emergency.

Scotland’s Climate Assembly has published 81 recommendations for Scottish ministers to consider adopting in their strategy to become carbon net zero by 2045.

The Herald in Scotland reports that the Scottish Government has been told by its statutory advisor, the Climate Change Committee (CCC) to “scale up delivery across all sectors in line with the ambition set out” by ministers, including the need to “publish a strategy” setting out how its ambitious target of cutting car kilometres by 20% 2030 will be achieved.

The Climate Assembly is has more than 100 members broadly representative of the population and operates independently of the Scottish Government. The assembly’s recommendations carry weight as ministers must publish a statement outlining how they will respond within six months.

The assembly has called for a move away from private car use and more emphasis put on public transport.

Ministers have been told to “phase in increased road taxes for private car use and use the revenue to subsidise public transport” – while efforts should be focused on making public transport cheaper, or even free of charge “by reviewing tender processes to focus government subsidies into nationalised public/private partnerships or not for profit public transport providers”.

An ‘Oyster card for Scotland’ should also be introduced as part of a joined-up transport policy, under another recommendation.

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