An unpopular Glasgow City Council proposal to raise petrol and diesel prices has ‘disappeared’ from its transport strategy.
Councilor Anna Richardson says there needs to be a ‘stick’ and ‘carrot’ approach to persuading Glasgow’s public to reduce their reliance on cars.
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But another councilor accused the council of “bashing” the drivers.
The attempt to lobby governments to raise the cost of fuel or vehicle taxes originally figured in the policy framework of the council’s transport strategy.
But when the document was presented to councilors at a meeting on Thursday, that idea appeared to be dropped.
Conservative Councilor Kyle Thornton, who called fuel price lobbying ‘shameful’, said: ‘I notice the call for a fuel tax has gone out of it (the strategy) to be replaced by a relatively vague wording.
“I’m glad the pressure from the Conservatives caused this.”
Party adviser Thomas Kerr said: ‘The SNP and the Greens have given up on outward claims for fuel taxes and other price increases and are now hiding this behind banal wording of making a vehicle more expensive than public transports.”
The massive transportation document contains 144 policies, including one on new parking fees being introduced at city workplaces. The levy would involve a workplace licensing system – the employer paying for a licence. The policy document also examines bus governance options for the city to improve transportation. Emission-based resident parking is also under consideration.
Councilor Thornton, who tabled an amendment, requested that some policies be removed and others be changed.
Speaking to the city’s administration committee, he said his group could not support the “parking charge” and “emissions-based pricing”, but welcomed parts of the strategy, including the attempt to improve public transport.
He said: ‘However, quite a significant amount still rely on just bashing car users and just trying to get people out of cars by making it so difficult they don’t care. not rather than providing decent public transport options, which should be the focus.
He said, “There’s a reason people use cars around town.”
SNP Councilor Richardson said: “The Conservative position on this is very clear in that we should use the ‘carrot’ and improve sustainable transport where we can. They are uncomfortable with the stick.
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The city’s head of sustainability and carbon reduction added: “The evidence on transportation is that we have to do both. There is a clear balance in this document around encouraging public transport and all sustainable transport and disincentivizing the use of private cars. You can’t do one without the other. »
Councilor Richardson continued: ‘Finally we are writing the policies we need to deter private car use.’
She said the council’s proposed policies offer the answers to take the council to net zero by 2030. There is also a target to reduce car miles traveled in the city by 30% by this year.
Councilor Richardson said: ‘It’s not going to be easy, but what we’re setting out today is a clear 10-year direction of how we intend to get there and that’s hugely important. “
Councilor Eva Murray requested that the transportation strategy not be approved at the meeting.
The Labor politician has proposed an amendment, which says ‘the current draft transport strategy does not commit to using the levers available to us to reshape Glasgow’s transport network, including using franchise powers’.
Councilor Murray wants proposals to be presented to “adequately address the issue of governance” of the transportation network.
The Conservative and Labor amendments were rejected.
The Glasgow Transport Strategy: Policy Framework has been approved after being voted on by SNP and Greens councillors.