Scotland May 2021 Elections Manifesto
CoMoUK Press Release
Parties urged to transform Scotland’s transport system
The next Scottish Government should introduce on-demand bus services to encourage passengers out of their cars after the pandemic and create a mobility hub at every major NHS site as part of a package of wider shared transport measures, a leading transport charity has said.
In a briefing to all parties ahead of May’s Holyrood election, Collaborative Mobility UK (CoMoUK) set out a number of shared transport steps including further investment and widespread promotion of car clubs and bike share schemes to help the country meet its climate change targets.
And the organisation said by implementing a range of environmentally-friendly ideas, whoever makes up Scotland’s next government would also see significant boosts the public health and the economy.
In the ‘Greener, Fairer and Healthier Scotland’ document, the charity urged ministers to think innovatively and introduce flexible, on-demand bus services to create an attractive, modern and efficient bus network to help attract back passengers after the pandemic.
It stated that this kind of initiative would help reduce private car dependency particularly in rural areas and areas that are currently poorly served by public transport.
Scotland’s NHS also has a significant role to play in making transport greener and would reap the benefits from a healthier population, the document argues.
It wants every major hospital and healthcare site to include a mobility hub – a place where public transport, shared transport and electric vehicle and bicycle facilities can be brought together.
And it stated that ‘prescription cycling programmes’ could be considered for areas of deprivation in a bid to improve health and increase transport options for those on lower incomes.
Other proposals like investment in electric vehicle charge-points and mobility credits specifically targeted at low-income families also featured in the blueprint.
Lorna Finlayson, Scotland director of CoMoUK, said:
“Scotland faces unprecedented challenges such as meeting our environmental targets, improving health and wellbeing and responding to the devastation caused by Covid. Shared transport has a major role to play, and we want to see all political parties take that seriously when they go to the people of Scotland asking for their vote. But this is about far more than simply making transport more efficient, cheaper and greener. Comprehensive improvements will also make society healthier in body and mind, and could deliver real economic benefits for everyone.”
“We also need to see a commitment to new ideas. Flexible, on-demand bus services would be one way to help Scottish communities which have been cut-off following service reductions across the country and encourage people out of their cars. Mobility hubs are also an important feature of the future. They help create 20-minute neighbourhoods – something that’s more important than ever in a post-pandemic era – and they create places of which communities can be really proud. This upcoming election is one of the highest-profile in many years. We want to see imagination and a commitment to shared transport at the very heart of parties’ plans.”
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