Tuesday 6 January 2015

A Message from our New Transport Minister

Our new Scottish Parliament Transport Minister, Derek Mackay would like to make the following announcement. This announcement was made here (S4M-11980).

That the Parliament recognises the success of active travel programmes in enabling more people to be active more often, with record levels of investment in active travel; celebrates the 20th anniversary of the National Cycle Network; welcomes the publication of the second Cycling Action Plan for Scotland and the first National Walking Strategy; acknowledges the cross-party commitment to promoting active travel and progress made by the Scottish Government since 1999, alongside external partners, in laying the foundations for a more active and healthier nation, and commits to working together to realise the active travel vision, which outlines how Scotland will look in 2030 if more people are walking and cycling.
Supported by: Keith Brown*

I will now respond in kind.....


What, you would like a more detailed response?  Oh, OK then. here goes....

What successes? Seriously?! How can Derek (and his boss Keith Brown who is supporting the parliamentary motion) suggest that there has been any success in the governments approach to active travel when they have not made any measurable progress towards the 2020 target vision aspiration pondering of having 10% modal share of cycling? Success?

Yes, let's also celebrate the 20th anniversary of some off road cycle paths that are often not fit for purpose. Let's welcome yet another CAPS which once again does not actually set out ......an actual plan....or set an deadlines, or have any actual funding associated with it. Let's acknowledge the cross party commitment to.....umm, errr....wait a minute...it'll come to me.....I'm sure it will.....tell you what I'll get back to you on that one..... And let us rejoice that none of this non-action will now not actually happen by 2020 (and yes, I'm getting muddle up with double negative here, but this is politics so double speak is the norm....). It will now not actually happen by 2030.

So yes, I think you'll agree that my initial reaction pretty succinctly sums it up.

When this vision for 2030 document came out I mentioned to a few people at other organisations that I suspected this was the beginning of the goalpost relocation. They thought I was wrong. Yet, here we are, and the removal firm has been hired and they have started wrapping up the ornaments. But wait, before the ornaments are placed in their boxes we should all revel in how sparkly the ornaments are. OK, they are pretty ugly ornaments, but the idea of what we would like the ornaments to look like is grand, so......let's revel all the same, and at teh same time, give your new boss a great big pat on the back.

I got my hopes up a wee bit when I heard that there was to be an active travel debate at Holyrood on the 7th January. We have a new transport minister and perhaps, just perhaps he would bring about change.


It looks like we are in for more of the same.

So, make sure you ask your MSP if they will be going along to the debate tomorrow. Perhaps with time being short a tweet might be in order. Ask them, will they be pushing for change, or will they join in the back-slapping ornament worshipping.

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