I was invited at the PCS conference on Tuesday in Brighton and an article appeared in yesterday's Morning Star newspaper regarding my free public transport speech at PCS.
Tuesday 18 May 2010
by Paul Haste
PCS conference 2010: Scottish Socialist Party leader Colin Fox took his party's "groundbreaking" proposals for free public transport to the PCS conference before debates later in the week on the union's political stance under the new government.
The former Lothians MSP informed delegates that the SSP was "pioneering the policy of free public transport as a way of reducing harmful CO2 emissions and combating social exclusion." Mr Fox explained that "almost 90 per cent of our transport-generated greenhouse gases come from the cars on our roads and, if we are to meet our target of reducing CO2 emissions by 2020, we need to persuade people to leave their cars at home. "The best way to achieve this is to offer people a better alternative and the evidence shows that free public transport will do that if it is reliable and interconnected," he emphasised. Mr Fox pointed out that, in the Belgian city of Hasselt, progressive politicians had "introduced free public transport in response to traffic gridlock, environmental pollution and anxiety over social exclusion as far back as 1997. "Within three years of offering free travel on buses and trains, the city witnessed a tenfold increase in passenger numbers and, moreover, they met rigorous targets for traffic reduction, CO2 emissions and increased social mobility," he explained. And he emphasised that the SSP "firmly believe that the same multiple successes can be replicated in this country," adding that such a "groundbreaking policy can go on to lead the world by example."