Rachael Murphy, Scotland director of CoMoUK

Shared transport key to Scottish Parliament’s car reduction goal, says charity 

Shared transport schemes will be key to reducing car use in Scotland, according to charity CoMoUK.

Collaborative Mobility UK (CoMoUK) has responded to the latest report from the Scottish Parliament Cross Party Group on Sustainable Transport, which explores the Scottish Government’s commitment to reducing car mileage by 20% before the end of the decade.

The report concludes that public transport fares need to be reduced to reach the ambitious goal, while CoMoUK said that shared e-bike and e-scooter schemes can help reach the target.

Rachael Murphy, Scotland director of CoMoUK, said: “This report identifies the importance of reducing the number of car journeys to achieve Scotland’s environmental targets.

“The key is to make sustainable transport attractive to people, as well as cheap.

“Motorists can save thousands of pounds a year by not owning a car and joining a car club instead, which can also encourage a more active lifestyle through walking and cycling.

“Shared transport schemes have the potential to significantly reduce congestion on our roads and carbon emissions.”

The report draws upon expert evidence presented to the Group, and sets out a set of recommendations that the Scottish Government should consider when progressing its policies to reduce car kilometres by 20% by 2030:

  1. Provide clarity around policies, expected impacts, and timescales for implementation.
  2. Pursue policies that target unnecessary car journeys.
  3. Consider the equalities impacts of traffic reduction policies.
  4. Ensure greater affordability of public transport services.
  5. Include van traffic as part of the traffic reduction target.

Cross Party Group convener Graham Simpson MSP said: “Cutting car miles by a fifth within just over seven years is a tall order. When it still costs a couple times more to travel by train than it would in petrol then you have to ask how we are ever going to encourage people onto public transport.

“The purpose of this report is not to question the merits of the policy – though that is a valid standpoint – but to drill down into how the target can be best and most-fairly achieved. The report calls upon the Scottish Government to spell out what it plans to do, having set the target in the first place.”

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Deputy convener Sarah Boyack MSP (Labour) said: “My priorities would be a focus on ensuring that public transport is affordable and accessible, with a reversal of cuts to bus services, continued investment in active travel and political support for a shift to low carbon transport across all sectors.”

CoMoUK is a national charity established to advocate for shared transport schemes, ranging from car clubs to e-scooter share schemes.

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