Scotland’s 20% car km reduction route map – CTA’s Response
by David Kelly
Director for Scotland
If Scotland is to achieve net zero carbon emissions by 2045, just replacing every petrol and diesel car with an electric car will not be enough. Ending our contribution to climate change and creating a more accessible, inclusive and sustainable transport system will require more fundamental changes to the way we live, work and move – including how many of us own, and how often most of us use, private cars.
Community Transport schemes and their users will have a key role to play and will also be set to benefit from less car use. That’s why we’ve welcomed the Scottish Government’s ambitious target – which may also be a world first – to reduce car kilometres by 20% by 2030. It has co-developed a route-map to get there with the Convention of Scottish Local Authorities (COSLA).
The draft route map contains a number of positive proposals which will help the Community Transport sector and incentivise people and communities to reduce their car use – such as reforming the planning system; increasing investment in active travel; introducing Low Emissions Zones; investing in bus and rail services and infrastructure; and promoting car clubs, which many CTA members are already running or hope to develop in the future.
We’re particularly pleased that the route map commits to work with CTA and the Community Transport sector to improve non-emergency patient transport to NHS sites and help everyone access health & social care in a sustainable way. Our sector already plays a critical role in transport to health & social care.
However, in our consultation response which you can download here, we argue that the draft route map can and should be strengthened in key areas:
Working with Community Transport: National and local government should recognise the Community Transport sector as a key partner in delivering the objectives of the route map. Community Transport schemes reduce car use, facilitate modal shift and empower communities to take climate action
Demand management: The route map lacks robust interventions to disincentivise private car ownership and use. Implementation of the proposed Car Demand Management Framework needs to be brought forward from 2025. Existing timescales significantly reduce the window for behaviour change and threaten to make the 2030 target highly unrealistic
Just Transition: Action to reduce car use should not reduce the freedom of disabled people. Disabled people in the UK make 38% fewer journeys every year than non-disabled people due to inaccessible public transport, while 60% do not have access to any private vehicle. Investing in accessible travel delivered by Community Transport can ensure disabled people are not left behind as part of a Just Transition to net zero
Fair Fares Review: The Scottish Government’s forthcoming Fair Fares Review must ensure that public and community transport are more affordable than private car ownership and use. It should also consider whether concessionary travel schemes could be extended to Community Transport services delivered under Section 19 permits to eliminate unfairness in the status quo
Sustainable transport to health: Welcome commitment to delivering the objective of NHS Scotland’s Climate Emergency and Sustainability Strategy to increase active travel and the use of public and community transport to NHS sites. A joined-up, strategic approach is required, backed by long-term planning, stable public funding and genuine partnership working between the NHS and the Community Transport sector
To find out more, read our consultation response in full here.
We’re taking forward these issues in collaboration with Scottish Government officials working on the route map, Low Emissions Zones and patient transport, as well as working with our friends and partners at Disability Equality Scotland, Transform Scotland and beyond to spread the word and influence policy.
Are you delivering services which help to reduce car use? What would enable you to reduce car kilometres in your community even further? Let us know by sending an email to email@example.com.
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.