3.1 A national conversation on car reduction
The public is already engaged on the issue of climate change and following Scotland’s hosting of COP26 there is an opportunity to capitalise on the threat of climate change as the key reason why Scottish Government is taking action on this issue, particularly in relation to actions to discouraging continuation of the status quo. We will build on this momentum with a national conversation on the rationale for the interventions we are putting in place, as well as the benefits that individuals, communities and wider society will experience as a result. Our communication with individuals and organisations, including public, private and third sector stakeholders, will start from the premise that we are trying to achieve a healthier, fairer and more sustainable way of living, particularly for the most disadvantaged members of society, who currently suffer a disproportionate burden of the negative impacts of car use.
While the route map uses a behaviour change approach as its framework, it is not simply about asking the public to change their behaviours, but about creating the right material and social conditions and providing people with the capability, opportunity and motivation to choose sustainable travel behaviours. Our national conversation on car use reduction will include communications on the actions that Scottish Government is taking at a system level in order to support the desired individual level behaviour change.
Our insights from public opinion surveys and focus groups alongside findings from our consultation on the draft route map and impact assessments will be combined with the evidence from the published literature and behaviour change theory to develop and refine our marketing and communications approach, in line with the existing Net Zero Nation Public Engagement Strategy and public facing Let’s Do Net Zero campaign. Car reduction messaging will be integrated into messaging on relevant policy measures, such as concessionary bus travel for under-22s, to ensure that individual policies are understood to be part of the wider suite of measures to help people travel more sustainably.
Further analysis will be conducted to help us understand the values underlying the travel behaviours of different population subgroups, to ensure future messaging and communications are tailored as effectively as possible. We will also work with partner organisations to support social opportunities for behaviour change, for example by influencing the social and cultural norms of travel in workplaces and education and healthcare settings. We know that behaviours are habit-based, and our communications will therefore target ‘moments of change’, when the context of individuals’ circumstances change, either intrinsically, due to a change in place of home, school or work; or extrinsically due to a change in local transport infrastructure, availability or pricing.
3.2 Interventions to reduce the need to travel
Supporting the development of, and ensuring fair access to, online options for education, training and employment as well as access to goods, services, amenities and social connections are key in order to reduce people’s need to travel. There is clear value in in-person social interaction, and we do not wish to restrict people’s opportunity to travel, however there will be a range of circumstances where people can be supported to live better lives by freeing up the time and cost associated with travel.
The COVID-19 pandemic has demonstrated the role that digital connectivity can play in enabling many people to work and connect with others remotely and the crisis accelerated the pace of digital adoption in organisations and businesses across many sectors. Scotland’s digital strategy aims to maintain and increase that pace of change, to ensure we remain competitive in a global marketplace. Digital transformation can help reduce the need to travel through remote working and enable businesses and people to access services and networks online.
Changes in working patterns during the pandemic have resulted in much attention on the potential of home working to reduce commuter travel and associated emissions. However we recognise that home working will not be feasible for many job roles, nor will not be practical for those who lack home environments suitable for work. There is a risk that any emissions savings from reduced travel may be offset by increased home energy emissions. Our route map therefore commits to action on flexible and local working rather than home-working specifically, and our interventions to reduce the need to travel are broader than just those that reduce the need to travel to work.
Intervention 1a - Finalising and adopting the Fourth National Planning Framework (NPF4) by summer 2022:
In addition to other areas of planning (covered in Intervention 2a below), NPF4 will set out how the planning system should continue to support the roll-out of digital infrastructure across all of Scotland. It will ensure that policies recognise the importance of future-proofing infrastructure provision whilst addressing impacts on local communities and the natural and historic environment, and will look to embed such as approach in Local Development Plans.
Intervention 1b - Extending superfast broadband to 100 per cent of premises in Scotland:
Access to good quality digital connectivity is no longer the barrier it once was. The Scottish Government is working to ensure that no-one in Scotland is digitally excluded, either by virtue of where they live or their income. The Reaching 100% (R100) and 4G Infill programmes are extending access to full fibre broadband and mobile services into non-commercial areas, building on the extensive commercial deployment across the country and the Digital Scotland Superfast Broadband (DSSB) programme, which saw over £400 million of public funding invested to extend broadband access to over 950,000 premises across Scotland. The Connecting Scotland programme is getting that technology into the homes of the people who would otherwise face barriers to digital access, providing connectivity, devices and training. We have seen how transformative access to these services can be across rural Scotland. This will unlock opportunities for rural businesses and remote working, as well as building skills, literacy and learning so more people have the skills to connect online.
Intervention 1c - Mapping digital connectivity alongside transport connectivity:
The way we use data will also have a part to play in informing our approach. Transport Scotland, in conjunction with the Scottish Government, will integrate data on access to digital connectivity alongside transport connectivity in order to model and assess which parts of Scotland are most reliant on accessing goods and services physically via transport infrastructure. This will be used to inform future infrastructure investment priorities and identify opportunities for transport networks to support digital infrastructure deployment. There is potential for digitalisation of transport networks to measure demand and manage capacity, as well as managing transport assets, and a significant role for data in empowering people to weigh up their own travel choices against carbon footprints.
Intervention 1d - Issuing a refreshed Fair Work First Action Plan in Spring 2022:
This will set out our support for the provision of flexible working arrangements where appropriate, as part of our wider commitment to Fair Work and will include a commitment to offer flexible working as a criteria for public sector grants and procurement under our Fair Work First approach, as well as ongoing funding for advice and support to employers on how to provide flexible working patterns for workers.
Intervention 1e - Progressing the Work Local Challenge Programme:
This will include exploring opportunities for local work hubs formed by repurposing existing buildings, or by developing new ‘pop up’ communities. This is in order to create quiet, safe, hygienic and connected work environments for office-based roles, capitalising on the benefits of home-working, by offering greater choice, flexibility and security and enabling companies to create productive work environments for a distributed workforce, while overcoming some of the dis-benefits of working in residential environments.
Intervention 1f - Delivering the NHS Scotland Climate Emergency and Sustainability Strategy’s actions to reduce the need to travel:
(NHS Scotland climate emergency and sustainability strategy 2022 to 2026. Consultation Draft)
These actions will support a reduced need for travel by patients and visitors, through the continued use and expansion of NHS Near Me; a refresh and modernisation of NHS homeworking policy; the use of 20 minute neighbourhood principles to plan new community health facilities and the exploration of better integrated care to reduce the number of separate appointments and journeys.
3.3 Interventions to help people live well locally
In order to achieve a 20 per cent reduction in car kilometres the planning system needs to prioritise and target car-use reduction. Demand for transport, and the choices that people make in relation to car use, are interwoven with how we plan and utilise space for communities and society. While we recognise the long lead times for planning policy to affect change on the ground, particularly in relation to new developments, it is also relevant in relation to more immediate investment, for example as part of regeneration schemes.
The growth in car use over decades has led to places and localities adapting to the dominance of the car, which over time has resulted in car dependency, and environments where the movement and parking of cars dominates, encouraging car use and discouraging the use of other modes. Reducing the car dominance of local places and ensuring that opportunities for education, training and employment as well as goods, services, amenities and social connections can be accessed locally, increases the opportunity for people to choose to travel by walking, cycling or public transport. In geographical areas or for individuals for whom those alternative modes are not feasible, supporting people to access local rather than distant destinations will still help to reduce car kilometres travelled.
Intervention 2a - Finalising and adopting the NPF4 by summer 2022:
This will set the direction for plans and decisions to support places which help realise a Net Zero Scotland including through car use reduction. It references the need for planning and place-making to support the development of more liveable, productive, distinctive and sustainable places. The Framework embeds the Sustainable Travel Hierarchy into plans and decision making in order to promote walking, wheeling, cycling, public transport and shared transport options in preference to single occupancy private car use for the movement of people. In 2022, we will also consult on draft statutory guidance and subsequently put in place new duties to prepare Regional Spatial Strategies which will in turn coordinate with Regional Transport Strategies.
How NPF4 will support car reduction within the 2030 timescale
Development timescales mean that it will take time to change the way our places work, but the draft NPF4 is clear about the choices that need to be made now to ensure we are on the right path towards achieving our targets. Once the Scottish Parliament approves the finalised NPF4 and the Scottish Ministers adopt it, as part of the statutory development plan, it will apply directly to all planning decisions. This will have an immediate and significant impact on ensuring that the planning system does all it can to mitigate and adapt to the impacts of climate change, including by planning the use of land in a way which minimises the need to travel as far as possible. In addition, the spatial strategy and policies will be taken forward in new-style local development plans, which will be progressed once regulations and guidance are in place, during 2022. Regional Spatial Strategies, which are not part of the statutory development plan but have a key role to play in aligning with transport planning at a strategic scale, will also play an important role in taking forward the aims of the spatial strategy set out in NPF4.
Intervention 2b - Delivering the Housing to 2040 actions to build stronger and more vibrant communities:
This will ensure that houses and places work together seamlessly so that people can live in communities that meet their needs and support their health and wellbeing. The actions include establishing a Place Based Investment Programme for community-led regeneration, community wealth building, town centre revitalisation and the development of 20 minute neighbourhoods; a Place Investment Framework to support the delivery of affordable homes in existing communities, town centres and 20 minute neighbourhoods; and embedding an Infrastructure First approach to development.
Intervention 2c - Continuing to embed the Place Principle, and promote the use of the Place Standard Tool:
This will ensure that those responsible for providing services and looking after assets in a place work and plan together, and with local communities, to improve the lives of people, support inclusive and sustainable economic prosperity and create more successful places. The Climate Lens Place Standard Tool will be of particular value for community engagement in relation to the 20 per cent car kilometre reduction target..
Intervention 2d - Delivering 20 minute neighbourhoods; improved town and city centres and a ‘loves local’ culture:
This will create opportunities for town and city centres to thrive and places where people can have their everyday needs met locally within a 20 minute walk, wheel or cycle from their homes, reducing emissions and encouraging active travel. We will launch a new ‘Our Place’ website to provide information, tools and resources to help support the development of places and services that improve our health, wellbeing, prosperity and quality of life as well as reducing inequality and protecting our environment. The Town Centre First Principle and the 20 minute neighbourhood concept provide a simple way of conceptualising a place-based planning approach that puts the neighbourhood or community at the heart of the planning process. While most commonly associated with urban areas, the 20 minute neighbourhood approach can be adapted to be applicable to a wide range of settlement types, and applied to both existing and newly designed communities.
Intervention 2e - Developing guidance and an appraisal framework for Mobility Hubs:
Building on already available best practice and research, this will allow for robust assessment of future funding decisions on mobility hubs and determination of the most appropriate locations and facilities in the Scottish context. Ease of interchange is an important factor in enabling travel by public transport. Mobility hubs are spaces designed specifically to integrate public and shared mobility modes as well as improving the public realm, and providing enhanced facilities and information to benefit local residents and businesses, as well as travellers.
Intervention 2f - Introducing a safer speed limit of 20mph on appropriate roads in built up areas by 2025:
This will lead to improvements in road safety and health outcomes, as well as improving place-making, encouraging uptake of active travel, climate change mitigation and place-making. Local Authorities will also be encouraged to deliver more Safe to School initiatives, with the aim of ensuring every child who lives within two miles of school is able to walk, wheel or cycle safely.
3.4 Interventions to help people switch modes
Recent research on scenarios to meet the transport emissions targets in Scotland outlines that walking must become the preferred mode of transport for short journeys and cycling, using cycles and e-cycles, must be a viable mode for both urban and inter-urban journeys (Element Energy. Decarbonising the Scottish Transport Sector, September 2021). In Scotland around 50 per cent of journeys are under 5 kilometres, whilst around 30 per cent are under 2 kilometres and 15 per cent are under 1 kilometre (Scottish Household Survey, 2019, reported in Scottish Transport Statistics no.39, 2020). While such short trips make a smaller contribution to overall car kilometres than longer trips, they are some of the easiest to change and can be an important way to enable people to start to use their cars less.
Public transport, on the other hand, has an important role to play in helping people reduce their car use for both short and long journeys. The impact of COVID-19 on travel demand has had a significant impact on public transport use. We need to support a safe and confident return to public transport that not only supports recovery from the pandemic but also ensures there is a viable and sustainable public transport system for the future, recognising that even in the pre-pandemic period there were public transport network coverage challenges, particularly in, but not limited to, rural areas and island communities.
Improving connectivity of active travel networks to train and bus stations as well ensuring cycle parking and facilities for on-board cycle carriage can play a pivotal role in enabling people to switch from car to a seamless multi-modal active and public transport trip. It is also recognised that there is a need to consider options for redressing the cost imbalance of public transport in comparison to car use. Along with travel time, cost is the most important factor in determining how people choose to travel. This is particularly important given that rail and bus fares have risen above general inflation over the last decade, whilst motoring costs have not.
This section outlines the range of actions that will support mode shift. Actions related to improved walking and wheeling environments have been covered in section 3.2 above, therefore the following interventions cover the remaining modes of cycle, bus, train and car, as per the order of the Sustainable Travel Hierarchy.
Intervention 3a - Publishing the Cycling Framework and Delivery Plan for Active Travel in Scotland in 2022:
While this Framework and Delivery Plan acknowledges the importance of all types of cycling, its focus is on cycling for active travel on everyday journeys and modal shift from the private car. The increasingly urgent need to address both the impacts of climate change and physical inactivity make it essential that the Framework and Delivery Plan outline ambitious strategic themes and actions that will contribute to reducing the reliance on private cars and the resultant health costs and carbon emissions.
Intervention 3b - Increasing investment in active travel:
The Bute House Agreement (Scottish Government. Scottish Government and Scottish Green Party Draft Shared Policy Programme: Working Together to Build a Greener, Fairer, Independent Scotland, 2021) set out the commitment to increase the proportion of Transport Scotland’s budget that is spent on active travel, so that by 2024-25 at least £320 million or 10 per cent of the total transport budget will be allocated to active travel
Intervention 3c - Investing £50 million on Active Freeways:
This will provide high quality arterial active travel corridors enabling sustainable travel between connect centres of activity, outlying neighbourhoods and other major trip attractors in our cities and towns. It is recommended that these focus on high-demand travel corridors and on improving connections to communities for which transport exclusion is currently prevalent. Improved local connections from the main Active Freeway routes will ensure that people are able to access them from their homes, schools, workplaces and other destinations. This will support delivery of the networks of routes that are already under consideration in many of our towns and integrate with existing active travel networks. It will expand and be complementary to the Places for Everyone programme to provide direct, high quality, segregated networks of routes for people travelling actively, whether walking, cycling or wheeling, enabling efficient, swift and safe options for short- and medium-length journeys.
Intervention 3d - Improving access to cycles and the transportation of cycles:
This will include the national roll out of a pilot to deliver free bikes to school age children who cannot afford one; continued provision of e-cycle loans and grants and a commitment that support for the purchase of new buses will be, where appropriate, conditional on space being available for bike transport in addition to wheelchair and buggy space.
Intervention 3e - Continuing to take action on road safety, in line with Scotland’s Road Safety Framework to 2030 which includes a renewed focus on pedestrians and cyclists:
This will include the full range of national deliverables set out in the Annual Delivery Plans of the Road Safety Framework, including a national strategy on 20mph speed limits/zones, a national speed management review and the development of a one year pilot project with Police Scotland to develop an online reporting system enabling people to upload camera footage of dangerous driving. Local authorities will also be encouraged to deliver more Safe to School initiatives and School Streets timed street closures, with the aim of ensuring every child who lives within two miles of school is able to walk or wheel safely, in line with the Bute House Agreement (Ibid.).
Intervention 3f - Introducing Low Emission Zones (LEZs) in Aberdeen, Dundee, Edinburgh and Glasgow in Spring 2022:
This will encourage the use of active and sustainable travel modes when accessing city centres, whilst also supporting the uptake of cleaner vehicles. The LEZ Support Fund offers eligible households up to £3,000 for the safe disposal of an older and more polluting vehicle that does not meet the proposed LEZ standards. Eligible businesses can receive up to £2,500 grant per vehicle suitably disposed of. For households, the grant is comprised of a £2,000 cash grant for the safe disposal of an older vehicle, plus up to £500 ‘Travel Better’ grant per adult for up to two adults in the household. The ‘Travel Better’ grant can be used to purchase a new or refurbished bike, towards the cost of an e-cycle or adapted cycle, public transport tickets, bike hire membership and credits, and car club membership and credits.
Intervention 3g - Continuing our work on review of transport governance:
We will continue to develop our review of transport governance, we will also take cognisance of the latest state of the pandemic and the impact on public transport and the future models required to support a viable and sustainable public transport system.
Intervention 3h - Commissioning a Fair Fares Review:
This is being conducted in recognition of the fact that public transport fares are increasing as the cost of private car travel is declining. We know that people in low income households are more likely to travel by bus and that existing challenges of living on low incomes can be exacerbated by transport costs. The review will look at the range of discounts and concessionary schemes that are available on all modes including bus, rail and ferry and inform the development of a sustainable and integrated approach to future public transport fares. We are also developing our analysis to assess the policy challenges and options for the future of public transport. This work is being taken forward as part of our Fair Fares Review.
Intervention 3i - Providing nationwide free bus travel for Scotland’s young people aged under 22 from January 2022:
This will encourage ongoing and increased bus use by benefitting around 930,000 young people.
Intervention 3j - Continuing to provide long-term capital investment to bus transport:
The impact of COVID-19 on travel demand and resultant demand for public transport has had a significant impact on public transport fare box revenue. To date, support of over £1 billion has been provided to support public transport operators during the pandemic to ensure that services remained in place for those who depend on them. Recovery from the pandemic, supported by a safe and confident return to public transport, is crucial to ensure there is a viable and sustainable public transport system for the future. The fare box revenue of our public transport operators, the on-going impact of recovery and the potential budgetary consequences of pressure on fare box revenue highlight the fragility of our public transport system and the need to do everything to protect it. This includes a commitment to invest over £500 million in bus priority measures, including through the Bus Partnership Fund, which will enable local authorities and bus operators to tackle the negative impact of congestion on bus services so that journeys are quicker and more reliable, thereby encouraging more people to travel by bus.
Intervention 3k - Introducing a Community Bus Fund:
This will support local transport authorities to improve public transport in their areas, including by exploring the full range of options set out in the Transport (Scotland) 2019 Act, including the option for local authority-run services.
Intervention 3l - Establishing a National Smart Ticketing Advisory Board:
This will advise on a technological standard for smart ticketing and will oversee the delivery of the next generation travel data system to enhance journey planning services and establish bus open data standards.
Intervention 3m - Investing in the maintenance and enhancement of the rail network:
This will provide an investment of £4.85 billion to maintain and enhance Scotland’s railway in the current rail control period, including investment in rail station facility development and improved rail station accessibility as well as on-going electrification and decarbonisation through our Rail Services Decarbonisation Plan and Rail Investment Strategy.
Intervention 3n - Supporting integrated journeys at ferry terminals:
This is a STPR2 Phase 1 intervention which involves undertaking a detailed review of key ferry terminals to consider physical integration, timetabling, signing, ticketing and other facilities required to deliver a seamless sustainable transport journey. The review will then recommend a programme of integration improvements to enhance the traveller experience and increase integration between ferry services and other public transport modes.
Intervention 3o - Pavement parking ban enforcement and other car parking interventions:
We will introduce regulation in 2022 to bring national enforcement of pavement parking bans in 2023, with exemptions as designated by local authorities. We will also work with local authorities to provide support and ensure that local transport strategies fairly consider the needs of climate change, as well as the impact on road users, including pedestrians, cyclists, public transport users and disabled car users in their approach to car parking.
Intervention 3p - Developing Workplace Parking Levy (WPL) regulations and guidance:
Discretionary local powers to introduce a WPL scheme were included in the Transport (Scotland) 2019 Act, giving local authorities a further tool to disincentivise private car use and promote modal shift. A local transport strategy is a prerequisite for any local authority looking to implement a WPL, and WPL revenue must be hypothecated to support the objectives outlined in the strategy. This helps ensure that the WPL is considered strategically and the funding which it generates goes to helping the travelling public, such as through improvements to public and sustainable transport provision or infrastructure.
Intervention 3r - Delivering the NHS Scotland Climate Emergency and Sustainability Strategy’s actions to increase active travel and the use of public and community transport to NHS sites:
This includes ensuring that new NHS facilities prioritise access for people travelling actively and sustainably; identifying where public transport links to NHS sites need to be improved; and making accessibility by public transport a fundamental consideration in decisions about where to develop new NHS facilities and working with transport stakeholders to realise the NTS2’s priorities and outcomes. It includes linking NHS facilities to active travel routes and networks in the wider community; making outdoor spaces and sites easier, safer and more enjoyable for people to walk, wheel and cycle on including through improving wayfinding; working towards every Health Board achieving the ‘Cycling Friendly Employer Award’ from Cycling Scotland by no later than 2026; promoting the benefits of active travel and providing travel planning information on how to avoid using a car when accessing NHS sites; and working with Community Transport Association UK and volunteer community transport groups to improve patient access.
Intervention 3s - Continuing the £300,000 annual investment in the Eco-Schools Scotland Programme as part of the Learning for Sustainability Programme:
This programme supports young people to learn and engage with climate change from nursery age to adulthood, with content on transport engaging children in and understanding of how people and goods make their way to school and how more sustainable choices can be made.
3.5 Interventions to help people to combine trips or share journeys
Both the Scottish Government and COSLA recognise that there will be some individuals or journey types for whom the private car may remain the only feasible mode of travel, including those in rural areas and island communities, those with specific disabilities and businesses with specific travel needs. In order to support these individuals and businesses to reduce their car use, interventions to promote the combining or trips and support the sharing of journeys with others will be important to help reduce overall car kilometres.
Intervention 4a - Testing the viability of Mobility as a Service (MaaS) in Scotland:
MaaS can be described as a “digital interface to source and manage the provision of a transport related service(s) which meets the mobility requirements of a customer” (The Transport Systems Catapult, 2016) or indeed as digital transport service platforms that enable users to access, pay for, and get real-time information on, a range of public and shared transport options. These platforms may also be linked to the provision of new transport services (UK Parliament, 2017).
This includes the three-year £2 million MaaS Investment Fund which consists of five pilots of innovative digital data driven solutions, providing people with better information and easier access to sustainable transport options, aiming to make public transport travel a viable alternative to the car. These pilots, run by Hitrans, Tactran, Dundee City Council, the University of St Andrews and SEStran respectively, use digital technologies to improve access to real time journey information, including journey planning, scheduling, retailing and fulfilment methods across multiple modes of transport, including Demand Responsive Transport (DRT) in rural areas. By providing more reliable, personalised and dynamic information about public and shared transport services, MaaS can reduce car dependency and use in the areas surrounding Scotland’s towns and cities. We will also continue to engage with the Department for Transport on its future of transport regulatory review specifically on MaaS and micro-mobility vehicles.
Intervention 4b - Re-promoting the benefits of car-sharing and car-cubs post-pandemic:
Previous work to promote car-sharing was interrupted by the need to follow COVID-19 guidance on safe travel, however we will resume activity in this once it is safe to do so, as car-sharing has the potential to play a significant role in supporting a reduction in private car dependency and use, and recent research shows that there is still a lack of awareness about them (Hjorteset MA, Bocker L. Car sharing in Norwegian urban areas Examining interest, intention and the decision to enrol. Transportation Research Part D, 84, 2020). The average car sits unused for more than 90 per cent of the time (International Transport Forum. Shared Mobility: Innovation for Liveable Cities, OECD Corporate Partnership Board, 2016) and the majority of car trips in Scotland (66 per cent) are single occupancy trips (Transport and Travel in Scotland 2018, Table TD9, October 2019). In this context, shared car use can potentially offer a more efficient and sustainable alternative to private car ownership, reduce overall car usage, reduce car kilometres and can make a significant contribution to reducing single occupancy car journeys. CoMoUK data shows car club membership increasing year on year from 19,827 members in 2018/19 to 25,193 (+27 per cent) members in 2019/20 to 30,617 (+21.5 per cent) members in 2020/21. Through grant funding, we are supporting projects to promote car-share schemes and platforms at national and regional level so that when conditions allow, shared transport is more prominent in people’s thinking as they consider their transport choices.’
3.6 Exploring further interventions to discourage car use
The sections above have set out the actions that we will take between now and 2030 to enable a significant reduction in car kilometres. These largely include interventions to improve the material conditions that will support people’s physical opportunities to reduce their car use, for example through improved infrastructure and service provision, as well as those to increase motivation to switch away from car use, by making alternatives comparatively more attractive, including in terms of convenience and cost. However an important part of people’s motivation to choose one behaviour over another lies in the balance of individual-level benefits and dis-benefits. Incentivising desirable behaviours is unlikely to be sufficient in a context where car use remains highly attractive in terms of individual-level benefits, while the dis-benefits to environmental and population health are largely externalised. Further exploration of equitable options for demand management to discourage car use, including pricing, will be explored through the commissioning of additional research in 2022. This will provide a short-list of options for further exploration and feasibility analysis, and will enable the development of a new Car Demand Management Framework by 2025, which will take into account the needs of people in rural areas and island communities as well as those on low incomes and people with Equality Act protected characteristics.
The current approach to motoring taxation has also been identified as a significant barrier to the decarbonisation of the transport sector. Fuel Duty and Vehicle Excise Duty are reserved to the UK Government and successive UK governments have frozen the rate of Fuel Duty each year since 2010, meaning motorists have benefitted from a significant tax cut in real terms. The need to address the cost of motoring is now widely acknowledged, with the revenues from Fuel Duty declining as the transition to lower emission vehicles continues. The Scottish Government will continue to engage the UK Government on the need for reform of existing taxes related to motoring. This is essential in order to create a tax system that better incentivises the transition to zero emission vehicles, and protects future revenues to fund interventions that support a shift healthier, fairer and more sustainable travel.
3.7 Funding and resource
The costs of delivering Scotland’s transport system are significant. In addition, the COVID-19 pandemic has created additional pressure on funding for Scottish Government and local authorities and the future demand for transport, including public transport, remains uncertain. Going forward, there will continue to be significant funding requirements for both central and local government, to achieve net zero commitments across a range of sectors. The transport sector is no exception, placing further pressure on limited budgets. There will need to be a clear focus on matching resource to greenhouse gas emission reduction and ensuring a just transition. While it will be important for people to make fewer journeys by cars and emission-producing vehicles, people will continue to need to travel, and our transport system is important to how we live our lives. We need to manage our transport assets effectively and invest efficiently in the resources needed to maintain and safely operate them, while supporting the transition to net zero. The importance of funding and investment will continue to be considered as part of our work on the delivery of the route map, in the broader context of a just transition to net zero.