Require all elected officials to walk, wheel or cycle to and for work.

When an ordinary person takes up an elected office, they become a role model for their community. They are given special privleges, and they are subject to extra scrutiny. We can use this to change how personal transport is perceived. As a sign of holding elected office, any elected official is no longer allowed the use of a personal automobile, but must use active and zero-carbon transport for their official duties.

Why the contribution is important

There are immediate and longer-term benefits that spring from this proposal. In the first instance, this will signal very clearly to the whole of Scotland (and the world!) that the Scottish government takes the climate emergency very seriously and requires positive action of every single elected official, from councillors on up. Second, it will force anyone standing for election to take their responsibilities much more seriously; if being elected as an MSP means that you must cycle to Holyrood — or walk to the railway, and then walk down to Holyrood—they will consider very carefully whether they wish to make such a commitment. If they do, they will understand immediately how hopelessly inadequate Scotland's transport system is now, and making that system better will become a subject of legislation and funding very quickly indeed! Our elected officials will become healthier, happier, and humbler people; hiding in a car is a very effective way of avoiding scrutiny. Over time, making the commitment to active zero-carbon transport will become a badge of honour, a symbol of integrity and commitment.

by wbtd on October 23, 2020 at 07:52PM

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Average rating: 3.4
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  • Posted by lesliesoulfire October 25, 2020 at 08:18

    My view is that this idea would produce more benefits if applied to Chief Executives and Department Heads and Civil Servants. I see our elected representatives as committed to their communities, but paid Council and Government employees resist change of any kind, and are happy to keep quiet and collect their generous salaries.
  • Posted by SteamboatWilley October 25, 2020 at 18:19

    I would definitely cut the number of chauffeur-driven cars and taxi rides taken by both elected officials and civil servants. By all means allow MPs and MSPs the privilege of first class rail travel to reflect their status, but they could do without all the car journeys. Also get rid of air travel for elected officials, royalty and senior military officers and civil servants. Once again, preference should be given to trains. Perhaps horses and carriages can be used for formal events instead of limousines? (That would be both good for the environment and add a bit of extra class to such occasions.)
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