Finlay Carson MSP

Galloway and West Dumfries

Rural areas must be supported in electric transition

Galloway and West Dumfries MSP Finlay Carson has called on the SNP Government to outline how rural communities will be able to deal with the transition to electric vehicles over the next decade.

He believes rural areas should be at the forefront of investment plans to ensure they have the infrastructure in place to cope with the move towards electric vehicles.

The Scottish Conservative and Unionist MSP was speaking in a debate on ultra-low emission vehicles, with the SNP planning to phase out new petrol and diesel vehicles from 2032.

While Mr Carson welcomes the commitment to reduce emissions, he raised concerns about the lack of infrastructure currently in place to support rural communities, where having access to a car is absolutely vital.

Mr Carson also highlighted the importance of the port of Cairnyran, seeking assurances that HGV operators would be supported in the transition to alternative vehicles, both environmentally and economically.

Commenting Finlay Carson MSP said: “While we must all do our bit to reduce emissions, I am concerned about the lack of detail over the transition to electric vehicles over the next decade.

“If rural communities are to truly benefit from the phasing out of petrol and diesel cars, then the proper infrastructure must be in place, including sufficient charging points which are readily available across the region.

“All too often rural areas are forgotten about when it comes to infrastructure investment, but in this instance they must be at the forefront of plans from the SNP Government to ensure that rural areas can be confident they will have a smooth transition to electric.

“The Scottish Conservatives environment paper sets out plans for a specific fund that would expand charging points in rural constituencies, like Galloway and West Dumfries.

“At the moment, I do not think switching to an electric vehicle is at the forefront of their minds, but to change that the SNP Government must provide more detail on how this transition will work in practice.”