Two thirds of Scottish Government ministerial cars are diesel it emerged this week following an investigation by The Scotsman.
Under plans to reduce the air pollution that is estimated to cost the lives of over 40,000 people around Britain every year, the dirtiest vehicles are to be banned from city centres in Scotland by 2020.
It is disappointing that two thirds of Scottish ministerial vehicles are diesel-powered, but we suspect this ‘do as we say and not as we do’ approach to air pollution is echoed by many areas of government around Britain, including at a local level. For example, it is common practice for local mayors to arrive at official engagements in a diesel powered limousine which sends an altogether unhelpful message when air pollution is having such a detrimental effect on the communities they serve.
| Scottish Liberal Democrat environment spokesperson Mariam Mahmood: “This is embarrassing – SNP ministers should be leading by example.”
Can official transport be green?
Yes, absolutely. Local officials who feel their arrival deserves the pomp and ceremony of a fossil-fuelled limousine should take inspiration from the Dutch prime minister, who often cycles to his engagements. Nearer to home, South Wales police have stopped employing drivers for their senior officers. As a result, Chief constable Matt Jukes, now uses alternative means of transport for official business – in his case, a Brompton folding bike.
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