Commuters and other passengers in Glasgow are being given the chance to improve the city’s bus services by tweeting their opinions.
Patrick Harvie, Green MSP for Glasgow, today (26 Mar) launched an interactive campaign for better buses. Members of the public are invited to become Better Buses Inspectors by giving their views on a special website - www.betterbuses.org – or via the Twitter account @betterbuses.
Mr Harvie said:
“Half of Glasgow’s households don’t have access to a car so it’s essential we get a better bus service in and around the city. Motorists have loud and powerful lobby groups – I want to give a voice to Glasgow’s bus users.
“Neither the private companies running the buses nor the Scottish Government are inspecting the level of service, so I’m urging passengers to become Better Buses Inspectors and share their views. Buses should be affordable and accessible, and shaped by people’s needs rather than company profits.”
Mr Harvie and a team of volunteers have been visiting bus stations and stops around Glasgow to get passengers’ views. Many people have expressed frustration at the frequency, punctuality and condition of the buses. Poor weekend and evening services are also top concerns.
The comments received will inform the next stage of the Better Buses campaign which will seek action from the bus companies and the government.
Scottish Greens have expressed serious concern that US property tycoon Donald Trump is set to fund a campaign in the Scottish council elections.
In an interview in Holyrood magazine the chair of protest group Communities Against Turbines Scotland talks of plans to use substantial funding from Trump. This overseas donation would go towards a “massive campaign” against Scottish council candidates who have supported wind power developments.
Scottish Greens have referred the matter to the Electoral Commission for investigation.
Green MSP Patrick Harvie said:
“It’s bad enough that Mr Trump has thrown a hissy fit about the chance that he might be able to see turbines from his golf resort, and has threatened to abuse the planning and legal systems to undermine Scotland’s energy industry. But the possibility that a foreign billionaire will seek to use his wealth to influence the local elections is outrageous.
“This is not America, and our political process is not for sale at any price.”
Here is an extract from the Holyrood Magazine article:
Crosthwaite outlines how CATS plans to make life uncomfortable for politicians, planners and wind power developers, in a national campaign that could see an unprecedented single-issue intervention in Scotland’s local elections. CATS aims to identify councillors in areas where its member organisations are active that have supported wind turbine development, and target them with “a massive advertising campaign”. The financing would come from overseas: “This is one of the areas that Donald Trump will help us by doing some advertising,” Crosthwaite says.
Responding to today’s announcement by SNP Energy Minister Fergus Ewing about plans to spend the £103million Fossil Fuel Levy, Scottish Green MSP Patrick Harvie said:
“It took long enough to get access to the Fossil Fuel Levy funds, so it’s important that the Scottish Government now puts them to work as soon as possible.
“The emphasis on community renewables is very welcome, because the clean energy revolution in Scotland needn’t be a choice between the multinationals and the climate deniers. This agenda is one which should benefit all of Scotland, and a strong community renewables sector will achieve that.”
After today’s cycle safety meeting, Green MSP Alison Johnstone has urged all stakeholders to keep up the momentum and work to increase levels of cycle training and to review speed limits.
Lothian Green MSP Alison Johnstone (pictured here in discussion with Transport Minister Keith Brown) said:
“Today’s meeting touched on all the right issues, so let’s ensure we keep up the momentum to get consensus and make some real changes.
“Around 30% of schoolchildren in Scotland currently receive road-based cycle training, compared to 60% in England. If we want to grow our cycling culture then we should be aiming to get 100% of the next generation trained up now.
“Edinburgh’s 20mph pilot zone comes into force this week, and I hope that it will provide useful evidence and impetus for other towns and cities to look at reducing speed limits in the near future.”
Scottish Greens today claimed the UK Budget will undermine Scotland’s renewable energy ambitions.
George Osborne’s measures including further cuts in corporation tax for big business, incentives to extract more fossil fuels and no support for Scotland’s massive renewable energy potential.
Green MSP Patrick Harvie said:
“Scotland has the lion’s share of renewable energy resource in the UK, but the Chancellor has shown himself stuck on the dirty fuels of the last century. By investing in Scotland’s renewable energy potential rather than old fashioned fossil fuels, the UK government could have given our economy the shot in the arm it needs. Tax breaks for big oil and gas corporations do nothing for the environment or equality – Scotland needs this budget like a hole in the head.
“Aside from the failure to support green energy, this budget is the clearest sign yet from this government that the rich can expect to get richer at the expense of the least well off. The millionaire Chancellor has offered up a true blue budget, and the LibDems have rushed to support it.”
Green MSP Patrick Harvie today commented on the announcement of an agreement between the Scottish and UK Governments on the Scotland Bill.
Mr Harvie said:
“The Calman process was always a carve-up between the three Westminster parties, and the Bill it led to has been a dog’s breakfast. I still doubt that this financial formula will ever be put into practice.
“In its original form the Scotland Bill was unsupportable, but we will examine the deal done between the SNP and the UK Government, to see if it addresses our concerns.
Whatever course the constitutional debate takes from here on, this Bill should be a lesson against politicians stitching the process up between themselves – the people of Scotland should be in the driving seat, if we want to move forward in a coherent way.”