Decarbonisation of Transport (Rural Economy)

Part of the debate – in the Scottish Parliament on 15th March 2023.

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Photo of Jenny Gilruth Jenny Gilruth Scottish National Party

I recognise the sentiment of Mr Whittle’s question. It is worth saying that a lot of cross-Government work is on-going on this matter. For example, only last week, as I alluded to in my first response, the islands strategic group met and, as a result of a request from me, transport will now be a standing agenda item for that group. It is important that we have a cross-Government approach to transport, particularly where there is a connection across portfolio areas.

I would also point to the fact that the convention of the Highlands and Islands will be in the Western Isles next week and, again, transport will feature on the agenda. There are undoubtedly challenges in rural Scotland that do not exist in other parts of the country.

The member makes a fair point in relation to electric vehicles. It is worth pointing out that, in Scotland, we have the most comprehensive public charging network in the United Kingdom outside of London. However, there is more that we need to do, working with our local authority partners and particularly in rural areas.