Scottish Government announces more details of commitment to cut car use 20% by 2030

Thu 13 January 2022 View all news

The Scottish Government has presented a draft route map to cut car use in Scotland 20% by 2030 and help to make the county's transport system more sustainable. 

The plans are a  response to the Scottish Government’s Climate Change Plan update commitment to cut car kilometres by 20 per cent by 2030, to meet Scotland’s statutory obligations for greenhouse gas emissions reduction by 2045. 

The new route map contains 30 interventions to address car use, many of which are already being delivered such as the rollout of free bus travel for under 22s. It sets out a range of sustainable travel behaviours grouped into four categories: 

  • travel less: use online options where appropriate
  • stay local: chose a more local destination to meet your needs
  • switch mode: to walk, wheel, cycle, or use public transport where possible
  • combine a journey: where the other options are not feasible

Scotland's Minister for Transport Graeme Dey said: ‘The principle of a just transition is at the heart of our route map, supporting our work to tackle inequality and child poverty. We recognise that for some people reducing car use, especially in the short-term, will be more challenging – including disabled people and their families – but we also need to recognise the unfairness of a status quo where the ‘car is king’ and where car use is made too easy, at the expense of other healthier, fairer options.

The Scottish Government's foreword to the route map says the plan "does not aim to eliminate all car use. We recognise that would not be realistic or fair, especially for journeys undertaken by disabled people or in rural areas where sustainable travel options may not always be available or practical. Rather, the route map encourages all of us to reduce our overreliance on cars wherever possible."

There was some criticism from environmental campaigners, however. Friends of the Earth Scotland said that the plan describing it as a “rehash of existing policies”.  FoE Scotland called for public transport to be taken back into public hands and made free for everyone.

< Back to news list