Time is running out, as climate change intensifies. We need to do more – and we need a different approach. We need to identify what works and invest in it – to nurture, grow and replicate local projects all across the country. It’s time for community-led climate action.
Our new report therefore takes its inspiration from Patrick Geddes, the pioneering Scottish town planner, who was an early thinker in the movement to create more sustainable local communities in harmony with nature. His credo, adopted by many community and climate activists, has been summarised as: ‘Think global, act local’.
It’s not just about the transition to zero-emission fleets – although that’s a big part of the role our sector needs to play. Our new report presents 7 fantastic case studies of best practice – from Climate Action Strathaven’s community-owned bus to Partnerships for Wellbeing’s Inverness Festival of Walking and Wheeling – to inspire communities, funders, politicians and policymakers and illustrate the art of the possible.
As grassroots organisations, local Community Transport operators are perfectly placed to design and deliver cost-effective, impactful and innovative solutions which reduce carbon emissions, reduce car use and accelerate modal shift.
They plug gaps in our public transport network. They make shared transport accessible, affordable and attractive to everyone. They empower people to take climate action, change their travel behaviours and get out of cars. They are essential partners for national and local government to deliver a Just Transition to net zero which leaves no one and no community behind.
63% of Community Transport operators in Scotland agree that climate action is part of their mission and 77% have taken climate action in the last 12 months. But nearly half do not have net zero plan or strategy in place. Communities require more practical support to achieve net zero, which is why our Climate Action programme, and resources like the Growing Climate Confidence platform, are so important.
Community Transport operators are working hard to transition to zero-emission vehicles, but need more investment. 18% of Scotland’s Community Transport fleet is now electric, up from 12% in 2021. This represents an average annual increase of 3% and positive progress in the sector’s transition to net zero despite an extremely challenging financial and operational context over the last two years.
However, a lack of funding (54%) and a lack of charging infrastructure (29%) are still cited by many operators as barriers to going further, faster. We estimate that Community Transport vehicle costs have soared by 17% in just 18 months.
Read our Report
You can download our report here to see our case studies, our data and our recommendations.
Community Transport Association UK is a charitable company limited by guarantee. Registered in Cardiff no. 1985361 Registered office: 12 Hilton Street M1 1JF. Registered as a charity in England and Wales no. 1002222. Charity Registered in Scotland No. SC038518.