I was very pleased to contribute to the debate earlier in the week on promoting active travel in Scotland. We all know there are significant health, environmental, and economic gains from getting people to be more active. and the easiest and cheapest way for individuals to achieve this is by increasing walking.
As Co-Convener of the Cross Party Group on Cycling, Walking and Buses, I take a keen interest in active travel and its integration with public transport, and the Cross Party Group on Rail is working on this too.
The Scottish Government motion rightly recognises the work that is taking place across communities and political parties to develop the active travel agenda.
For the places where we live and work, active travel is about more liveable communities, reduced congestion, better pedestrian access and cycling facilities, and more footfall in our town centres. For the environment, it is about better air quality, a modal shift away from cars and a reduction in vehicle emissions.
As the Spokesperson for Environment Climate Change and Land Reform, I understand there is still a lot of work to be done to encourage people to choose walking or cycling, but the recent debate puts us one more step ahead to becoming a more environmentally friendly nation.