COMMENT: Their policies make sense but won't happen

YOU would expect the Greens to focus transport policy on cycling and walking.

Tuesday, 22nd March 2016, 10:15 am
Updated Tuesday, 22nd March 2016, 10:50 am

And so it appears the party’s manifesto for the Scottish Parliament elections will have commitments to spend millions earmarked for new roads on patching up potholes. Meanwhile, crossing times for pedestrians at traffic lights will be increased.

Put simply, they want to stop building new roads and fix the ones we have.

It is an unsurprising policy from a party which clearly has little chance of power come the May poll, but that’s not to say what they are saying doesn’t make sense.

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In actual fact what we need is probably a combination of new transport links, proper repairs to existing roads, and a drive to make sustainable options like cycling and public transport more attractive.

New roads won’t necessarily be of much use to Edinburgh because there is nowhere to put them. The city’s pothole blighted routes are, however, as we know, desperately in need of attention.

The extension in crossing times for pedestrians may prove to be unpopular with taxi drivers and commuters caught in jams, but there is an obvious problem to be tackled in the city centre where the current green man dash to get across some roads can leave the elderly stranded in the middle of the road.

Sensible suggestions from the Greens then but, you have to feel, policies with no chance of being adopted.

The fact is before you can look at halting road building and even extending crossing times, you have to tackle the number of vehicles on the road in the first place, or risk damage to the economy and major congestion.

That won’t happen overnight and will first take a concerted effort from the Scottish Government and local authorities to provide attractive and safe alternatives to travelling by car.