Roadmap for a greener and healthier Scotland published

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The Scottish government has published its route map outlining steps needed to reduce car kilometres travelled by 20% by 2030.

It set out a range of sustainable travel behaviours grouped into four categories:

  • Travel less: use online options where appropriate
  • Stay local: chose a more local destination to meet your needs
  • Switch mode: to walk, wheel, cycle, or use public transport where possible
  • Combine a journey: where the other options are not feasible

Additionally, research will be commissioned to explore equitable options for demand management to discourage car use, to enable the development of a new Framework for Car Demand Management by 2025.

The route map has been developed by the Scottish government and the Convention of Scottish Local Authorities (COSLA) and will now be the subject of a 12-week public consultation.

Scotland’s minister for transport, Graeme Dey, said: “We know that we need to take bold action to tackle the climate emergency and this world-leading commitment makes the scale of our ambition clear.

“We cannot reach net-zero emissions through technological solutions alone so we need individuals, communities and businesses in all parts of Scotland to look at their own habits and behaviours and think about how they could make changes. We don’t expect car use to drop at the same rate in urban and rural areas and the route map makes clear that there’s no one size fits all approach.

“The principle of a just transition is at the heart of our route map, supporting our work to tackle inequality and child poverty. We recognise that for some people reducing car use, especially in the short-term, will be more challenging – including disabled people and their families – but we also need to recognise the unfairness of a status quo where the ‘car is king’ and where car use is made too easy, at the expense of other healthier, fairer options.”

This follows the introduction of a range of measures to reduce car use including free bus travel for under-22s, with applications opening early this month. Another such measure is the introduction of Low Emission Zones in four of Scotland’s cities set to be introduced this year.

Councillor Steven Heddle, COSLA’s environment and economy spokesperson, added: “Different places and communities will need different solutions. This is where Local government can help make a difference, with local, targeted action which is supported by the right investment and expertise.

“Local government will also be critical at bringing together policies, ideas and data at the local and regional level to support delivery. We, therefore, firmly view the route map as being a key part of our joint work with Scottish government on delivering a just transition to a net zero economy.”

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