MEDIA claims that the Scottish Government has waged war on motorists have been rubbished by new research.

The study comes off the back of claims made in the Scottish Mail on Sunday that Nicola Sturgeon was waging a “war on the motorist”.

Similar critical articles by the Scottish Daily Express and The Times on low emission zones and the workplace parking levy, respectively, were also mentioned in the research post.

In challenging the claims, senior government researcher Alan Rehfisch examined trends in car ownership, motoring costs, road investment and parking charges.

READ MORE: Transport minister slams 'scaremongering' around parking levy

One of the points made by Rehfisch was that the Scottish Government had invested more than £11 billion in roads since 2006, with another £6.5bn to be spent by 2026.

He also found that the number of cars registered in Scotland had risen to 2.5 million from 1.8m in 1999 – with motoring costs dropping by 19% relative to inflation in the same period.

Low Emission Zones, which have been implemented in four of Scotland’s cities, were also referenced by the study and noted that around 22% of diesel cars and only 0.4% of petrol vehicles are liable for a penalty charge.

Rehfisch said: “Media reports have raised concerns about the impact this will have on drivers of non-compliant vehicles. However, most drivers already own vehicles that are compliant with LEZ emissions limits or will switch to such vehicles before enforcement starts [in 2023].”

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Another bugbear for Rehfisch was media reaction to the controversial workplace parking levy, which empowered local authorities to charge uncapped fees for parking at workplaces.

He said: “[It] is not to penalise motorists, but to encourage those people who can use alternative means of travelling to do so, helping to reduce congestion, air pollution and carbon emissions while tackling issues such as inactivity”.

As of yet, no councils have signalled an intention to use the powers.

Rehfisch added: “To date very little has changed for motorists.”