Scotland to encourage public transport use post-pandemic
The first annual Delivery Plan for Scotland’s National Transport Strategy includes a new action to encourage people back on to public transport post-Covid-19 when it is safe and appropriate to do so.
The Strategy outlines four priorities for Scotland’s transport system: that it reduces inequalities; takes climate action; helps deliver inclusive economic growth; and improves our health and wellbeing.
Other actions set out are to extend free bus travel to young people aged under 19; support active travel and other sustainable options including support for people working from home; and support interventions to reduce car kilometres by 20% by 2030. Annual Delivery Plans are due to be published from 2022 onward. To ensure accountability on progress, Scottish Government has committed to publishing a monitoring and evaluation report covering the period out to end-March 2022, followed by annual monitoring and evaluation reports from March 2022, as well as reporting three-yearly, to Parliament, as required by the Transport (Scotland) Act 2019.
Cabinet Secretary for Transport, Infrastructure and Connectivity, Michael Matheson, said: “The months since we published our National Transport Strategy have been challenging as we respond to an unprecedented public health emergency, but our commitment to protect our climate and improve lives is unwavering. We have focused the first Delivery Plan on addressing the impacts of Covid-19 as a core component of taking forward our longer term strategy.
“This Delivery Plan brings together for the first time the actions across Scottish Government to support delivery of the Strategy to help to realise our vision for transport and support the transformation to more sustainable options.
“These actions reinforce our commitment to sustainable travel and investment in the right places. We continue to promote walking, wheeling and cycling, and shared transport options over private car use. And investment is at the core of our second Strategic Transport Projects Review, phase one of which will report in earl 2021, setting out our transport investment plans for the next few years.
“Our actions are consistent with the Climate Change Plan Update published this week, which reflects the world’s most ambitious framework of climate targets.
“I look forward to continuing our work with partners to address transport emissions and support thriving communities as part of our place-based investment programme.”