The route map is underpinned by our commitment to a just transition to zero greenhouse gas emissions, creating benefits and opportunities equally for people across Scotland.
Ensuring more people choose active and sustainable travel will not only result in fewer emissions, but can also promote healthier lifestyles and better equality of access to transport.
The status quo is unfair. For people on the lowest incomes, 60% have no access to a car. Of those with a long-term health problem or disability, the figure is 46%. Younger and older people, women and certain minority ethnic groups are also less likely to have access to a car, including in rural areas. The figures are even starker for multiple car households. 71% of households in the highest income brackets (over £50,000) have access to two or more cars; for those in the lowest income bracket (under £10,000) the figure is 8%.
People in low income households are more likely to travel by bus, while those in higher income households are more likely to travel by car, a trend that has been exacerbated by COVID-19.
Therefore the resurgence of a healthy bus network in our recovery from COVID-19 is vital to securing a just transition and delivering our vision for a sustainable, inclusive, safe and accessible transport system. Helping to give people access to bikes and e-bikes, particularly in areas of multiple deprivation, can drive equality and promote physical activity.
We acknowledge that reducing private car use will be more challenging for people in who live in rural areas or who currently have no other affordable option. As such the framework of sustainable travel behaviours is designed to be applicable in both rural and urban settings as well as for those with a variety of transport mobility needs. The aim is to empower people to choose an option that fits their circumstances and trip-purpose needs. Ensuring that people can reduce their need to travel by car whilst still having affordable access to employment, goods and services will be key to achieving this outcome without having a detrimental effect on equality.
We will continue to consider a range of issues in relation to the route map, such as the availability of public transport alternatives, low income and inequality implications, and geographical considerations, through the on-going consultation and impact assessment process. The route map consultation is closed, and we are currently analysing the valuable feedback given. Our programme of engagement, with a wide range of groups and networks across Scotland however, continues as we implement the measures outlines, and consider the next steps.