Last week the Scottish Parliament was debating the Transport (Scotland) Bill, covering everything from parking, the state of our public transport system, and how we can ensure that our transport system is sustainable for the future.

One of the issues that I raised was the unfair work place parking levy that the Scottish Government is trying to impose on employers and employees.

This levy is essentially a charge on parking at your place of work. The cost to government workers alone is estimated to be more than £5million, never mind the public and private sectors.

READ MORE: Jackie Baillie: Don’t let the government charge people for parking at work

Each employee could pay more than £400 a year to park at work and the cost would disproportionately affect those on low incomes as well as shift workers who go to work when public transport stops. It is an ill thought-out policy that will see thousands of workers worse off as a result.

I support moves to shift us from our cars on to public transport, but the public transport is simply not reliable or good enough and the reduction in passenger numbers on buses and trains tells its own story.

The current Abellio-ScotRail franchise is failing - we have seen delays and cancellations, short-formed trains and skip stopping. It makes it all the harder to stomach when you consider that the price of a train ticket has sky rocketed with passengers paying more for a poorer service.

READ MORE: Parking on pavement ban to be introduced in Scotland

Scottish Labour have used the Transport (Scotland) Bill to give councils the power to manage local bus services. I will be consulting directly with local residents to find out exactly what bus services they need. It is only fair that those who are going to use this service every day, should have a say in how it runs.

Only last week, the Scottish Government made robust commitments to tackling climate change. If it is serious about doing this, it must begin with ensuring that our public transport is operating effectively enough to convince drivers to leave the car at home.

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