This letter appeared in the Press & Journal on 13 July 2020
SIR, - A report just out by the environmental consultancy, Transport for Quality of Life - using data collected by Highways England - has indicated that the vast majority of emission cuts from electric cars will be wiped out by new road-building.
The UK Government says vehicle emissions per mile will fall as zero-emissions cars take over Britain's roads, but the report says that 80% of the CO2 savings from clean cars will be negated by the £27 bn planned roads programme.
In a second study, the Green Alliance reported on how best to achieve the UK's climate targets. Road building came out of that as poor value for money, compared to improving broadband infrastructure, cycle facilities, railway and public transport improvements and remote-working hubs.
Both Westminster and Holyrood have indicated they are following a "green recovery" route, but there is no indication this is likely. The Scottish Government still have expensive and environmentally damaging dualling projects for the A96 and A9 on the table. Why is this the case?
If Scotland is going to be seen as a leading figure in the new "green economy", and as the host for the delayed COP26 Conference next year, policies need to change.
If creating jobs and getting people back to work is the priority, the money would be far better used in constructing new hospitals and extending our schools to better cope with social distancing.
When the next emergency occurs, and it will, we have to be better prepared.