Dr Richard Beeching gets a bit of a bad rap sometimes. Well he gets a bad rap pretty much all of the time after his controversial railway cuts instigated in the 1960’s.

The Beeching cuts of the 1960s was a plan to increase the efficiency of the nationalised railway system in Great Britain.

But it also spelt the end for thousands of stations and hundreds of branch lines.

The Beeching report recommended taking an axe to about a third of the network - 5,000 miles of track, including hundreds of branch lines, 2,363 stations and tens of thousands of jobs.

Instead, it would concentrate on the things trains did well. Fast journeys between the cities.

Now it appears that Dr Beeching is alive and well and working somewhere within Scotrail HQ judging by the latest axing of services just announced.

Scotrail says it is planning to axe nine ‘fast’ trains between Gourock and Glasgow next month.

Read More: A loud siren will do nothing to help climate anxiety sufferers

This, of course, will come as news to hard-pressed passengers who may have been under the distinct impression that Scotrail had actually axed all fast trains several decades ago.

And replaced them with very slow and unreliable ones instead.

One of the reasons that Scotrail has given for reducing the service is to help them provide the “safest, greenest and most reliable” service it can.

That is a genius move really. One way of guaranteeing a safe, green and reliable service is to axe all trains.

No trains at all of course means that none can be late, no carbon emissions and no-one can get hurt using the railway.

Maybe that’s the government’s secret plan to help the country achieve it’s beloved Net Zero target all along.

They certainly seem to be doing a good job in making ferries safe and green by failing to run any at all.

Let’s face it, Scotland’s public transport system is pretty average at best and has deteriorated significantly in recent years.

Humza Yousaf (whatever happened to him I wonder?) when he was transport minister announced that Abellio was being stripped of the Scotrail franchise and it would be nationalised instead.

On April 1 last year (no joke - it’s really not a laughing matter) it passed into government control, which Nicola Sturgeon insisted was an “historic moment”.

It was but perhaps not in the way that she intended as immediately hundreds of services were axed to make for a more “reliable” timetable.

One year on, even more services have now been axed and the service appears to be even less reliable than it was.

Last week saw Humza Yousaf was elected First Minister and revamped the entire cabinet.

Given the state of the ferry network, rail services and the glacial pace of road improvements, it was ripe for a new Transport Secretary to be introduced with equal weight of the traditional big ticket posts such as health and finance.

After all, given the ferries and railways are nationalised as is Prestwick Airport, the department must have one of the biggest budgets and is relied on by millions of Scots every day.

Read More: If you’re amaxophobic the new ‘how to catch a bus’ app will help

Instead Kevin Stewart was appointed in a junior role and is answerable to Cabinet Secretary for Net Zero and Just Transition Màiri McAllan.

This probably sums up in a nutshell how seriously the current government prioritises transport.

I’m sure Net Zero and Just Transition are very important indeed, but they are certainly not more vital to the everyday lives of ordinary Scots than trains, ferries, buses and roads.

This week it was also revealed that Glasgow City Council has passed a motion to start a trial of lower speed limits on a section of the M8 that goes through the city.

Councillors hope to eventually transform that section of motorway into a boulevard style of road.

Convener for transport Angus Millar has written to the government asking for slower speeds to be considered.

Councillors have agreed to look for ways to “mitigate” the impact of the M8 in the short term before eventually seeking to downgrade the road.

Downgrade it to what exactly is not specified but as anyone who has ever driven along the M8 at rush hour can attest that reaching 30mph in the congestion is actually a miracle and not a mere aspiration.

It is becoming increasingly clear that Scotland’s transport network is being sacrificed at the altar of bogus Net Zero goals.

Goals that are laid down by green activists from their city centre dwellings who have no need whatsoever to use public transport so don’t understand what’s needed.