Tackling Inequality in Partnership with Transport Scotland
by David Kelly
Director for Scotland
Equality is at the heart of the ethos of Community Transport. But we know that there are still far too many inequalities across Scotland’s transport system which cause disadvantage, exclusion and unfairness – from transport poverty in deprived, island or rural communities to inaccessible services experienced by older and disabled people.
So how can we tackle these inequalities? What action does government need to take? And what is the role of the Community Transport sector?
Transport Scotland has undertaken seven impact assessments to evaluate how it expects the policies in its Delivery Plan for the National Transport Strategy 2 (NTS2) to impact on equality. In early January, it closed a consultation seeking comments from stakeholders and the public.
Our response – which you can download here – scrutinises the Delivery Plan’s key policies in three of the relevant impact assessments and in doing so calls on Transport Scotland to:
Restore confidence in public and Community Transport to promote a safe return to sustainable travel
Consider additional financial support which may be required by the Community Transport sector as Scotland recovers from COVID-19
Work in partnership with local authorities, health boards and Community Transport operators to better support transport to health and tackle health inequalities
Build on the Plugged-In Communities Grant Fund to help the sector transition to zero-emissions vehicles and deliver a just transition
Explore eligibility for full reimbursement under the National Concessionary Travel Scheme and the Young Persons’ Free Bus Travel Scheme for operators with Section 19 permits
Ensure clarity, consistency and fairness in the Blue Badge Scheme for Community Transport operators and passengers across Scotland
Work more closely with Community Transport operators in rural and island communities to tackle transport inequalities
We’re already working closely with our partners at Transport Scotland to advance equality within, and through, transport. Over the past few months, we’ve discussed COVID-19, Blue Badges and transport to health with Transport Scotland’s Bus and Accessible Travel teams, as well as with Scottish Government colleagues responsible for Health & Social Care.
We hope to deepen these partnerships and develop new relationships across government and with other key stakeholders this year.
Join us on Thursday 27 January at our first online meeting of 2022 for Scottish members to hear about CTA’s and Transport Scotland’s plans and priorities for the year ahead. We’re delighted that we’ll be joined by Karen Armstrong, Team Leader of the Accessible Travel and Blue Badge Policy team in Transport Scotland’s Bus, Accessibility and Active Travel Directorate.
Would you like to join us and Transport Scotland on 27 January? Email firstname.lastname@example.org to book your place.
What do you think of our response? How should CTA work with Transport Scotland going forward? Let me know via email@example.com.
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