THE Scottish Government’s Transport Secretary has defended criticism his strategy is “meaningless drivel” that is “bereft of detail”.

Opposition parties went on the attack after Michael Matheson announced the new blueprint at Holyrood, with the minister insisting it presents a “compelling vision for the future of transport in Scotland over the next 20 years”.

Matheson told MSPs the strategy is based on four key priorities – including helping tackle climate change – which would form the basis of decision making going forward.

With the transport sector responsible for 37% of all greenhouse gas emissions, Matheson said the new policies are “crucial” to achieve the Scottish Government’s net-zero target by 2045.

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He told Holyrood: “The strategy recognises the biggest moral endeavour of our times in addressing the global climate emergency.

“There is a responsibility for us all to act, but it is important that Government leads from the front and by example.”

But Conservative Jamie Greene said the strategy is “alarmingly bereft of detail”.

He added: “What I would like to have seen in the statement is more of the details, what are the policies that will help the Government meet the objectives?”

Matheson accepted the “need to make sure there are tangible, very specific measures which are taken forward”, but he said these will be included in a separate delivery plan being published this summer.

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Green transport spokesman John Finnie said: “Transport emissions are playing a significant role in our climate and public health emergencies.

“This document may acknowledge that, but without any real strategy to lower them it is meaningless drivel.

“The four priorities laid out by the Transport Secretary – reducing inequality, climate action, inclusive growth and health and wellbeing – could all be tackled by serious investment and control of public transport. Where is the commitment to do that?”

He concluded that without any commitment to “radical action, this can barely be described as a strategy at all”.

Transform Scotland, which campaigns for more sustainable transport, was also critical of the strategy.

Its director Colin Howden said: “It is distressing that this new strategy, despite being more than three years in the making, sets out absolutely no new action to tackle the climate emergency.

“We don’t need more platitudes about the need for change, we need a concrete programme of action for decarbonising the transport sector.

But Matheson said the National Transport Strategy would recognise the different needs of cities, towns, rural areas and islands, and is a vision for a “sustainable, inclusive, safe and accessible transport system”.