“WEAK” climate change plans drafted by the Scottish Government will fail to cut emissions unless they stop “ignoring” private car use, Transform Scotland claims.

The sustainable transport group has slammed the government’s draft climate change plan in a submission to Holyrood committees scrutinising the strategy.

The group, which includes passenger watchdog Transport Focus, Edinburgh Napier University’s Transport Research Institute and the TSSA union, has said the proposals, which include a commitment to slash greenhouse gases by 66 per cent by 2032, show a “reasonable level of ambition”.

However, it claims it is “heavily dependent” on the uptake of electric cars and other technological changes, and “largely ignores” existing ways to reduce harmful emissions, including the promotion of public transport and car sharing.

It also describes the draft as “extremely weak” on road traffic demand management and says, in its current form, it will bring “few, if any” benefits for public health, congestion or the economy.

Colin Howden, director of Transform Scotland, said: “Once again, the proposals have largely ignored the need to get people out of cars and start walking, cycling or taking public transport. The focus on vehicle technology means that few if any benefits will be felt for equalities, public health, congestion or the economy.

“A focus on vehicle technology does little to help households with no car access. This is all the more so the case with electric vehicles given their current higher purchase prices.

“A switch from petrol cars to electric cars will certainly do nothing for congestion, and with none of these cars manufactured in Scotland, there will be no benefit for the Scottish economy.

“On the other hand, we do have bus manufacturing in Scotland, so it is disappointing that the climate plan is so weak on promoting bus use.”

Responding, Holyrood agency Transport Scotland said that under the blueprint, transport emissions would fall by a third on 2014 levels.