Road congestion worst than during first lockdown, says Scottish transport secretary

Scottish Transport Secretary Michael Matheson has said some firms are still asking staff to go to office when they could work from home.

a car driving on a city street filled with lots of traffic (C) Traffic levels across the country are higher than during the first lockdown imposed in March last ye...

It comes as the Scottish Government is considering further Covid-19 restrictions to tackle the spread of the virus. Nicola Sturgeon will announce any changes this afternoon in front of Holyrood at 12.30pm today, during First Minister's Questions. The First Minister already warned that lockdown measures could continue beyond the end of January, and hinted that tougher restrictions could be brought into effect.

Mr Matheson, who was involved in cabinet discussions with the First Minister yesterday, has expressed concerns about the amount of traffic on the roads. Appearing on BBC Radio Scotland's Good Morning Scotland, Mr Matheson said traffic levels across the country are higher than during the first lockdown imposed in March last year. He said: "There has been a marked decline in traffic overall since the new lockdown restrictions came into force, but they are slightly above what they were in the lockdown of last year.

"Some of the measures we have been discussing at a cabinet level, and the First Minister will set out today, given an indication of the measures we are looking to take forward to help reduce that further. "There is no doubt there are more people moving around at this during the present lockdown than was the case in the lockdown last year." He added: "There is an element of concern with this.

It is absolutely critical that if you are a business that had most of your staff working from home during the lockdown last year, then that should be happening now. "There is an element where some businesses are continuing to operate because they have put mitigation measures in place, so they believe they can still have staff coming in, in a way we don't think it is appropriate." A message from the Editor:

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