Covid-19 (Transport)

Part of the debate – in the Scottish Parliament on 26th May 2020.

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Photo of Dean Lockhart Dean Lockhart Conservative

I thank the cabinet secretary for the advance copy of his statement, and I add my thanks to all the transport workers across Scotland who have kept the country moving during the crisis.

As the cabinet secretary said, the transport sector will play a crucial role in helping Scotland to emerge from lockdown, and the transport transition plan that has been announced today is a welcome start. However, there are a number of questions about how the plan will work in practice.

First, can the cabinet secretary assure front-line transport workers that there will be adequate supplies of personal protective equipment for those who need it?

Secondly, transport operators have raised concerns that it might not be possible to maintain the required social distancing measures on rail and bus networks during rush-hour periods. Will the cabinet secretary clarify whether transport marshals or other officers will be deployed to monitor compliance with social distancing requirements, or whether travellers will be expected to self-regulate on those matters?

Finally, on the coach sector, I have sent the cabinet secretary a number of letters that have highlighted concerns that coach operators are not getting sufficient support during the crisis and that, as a result, many face going out of business, which will badly affect the tourism sector in Scotland when that market reopens. How does the cabinet secretary intend to address those serious concerns that coach operators have raised?