What is smarter travel and why is it important?
Transport is the largest source of climate emissions (36%) in Scotland. The more we travel actively or on public transport or even car share the better care we are taking of our planet for us and future generations. There has been no progress on emission reductions in 30 years so we need to make changes ourselves and ask for better infrastructure for walking, wheeling in cycling will result in a more equal society. At present 28% of Scottish households do not have access to a car, rising to 60% in those earning under £10,000 .
The positive impact of less car use are:
Reduced congestion – enabling people to choose active or sustainable travel will reduce congestion on our roads enabling us to have cleaner air and less stress when travelling by bus or by active travel.
Reduced air pollution – less car-driven journeys and more walking, wheeling, cycling and public transport are important in tackling air pollution and its negative health impacts. As well as being a part of the solution, active travel becomes more pleasant and therefore more likely to be adopted as air quality improves.
Higher quality public spaces – Improving opportunities to walk will create places and communities that are more able to adapt and be vibrant, creative, enterprising, and accessible and a more equitable community.
Better physical, mental and social health – Active travel has clear health benefits as physical activity increases, social connections are made and mental health is boosted by activity and time outdoors in nature. Active travel is an important opportunity for savings in terms of preventing ill health.
Reducing carbon emissions and helping reach net-zero carbon goals – Changing to active travel can have significant lifecycle carbon emissions benefits. The largest benefits come from shifts from car to active travel for business, social and commuting journeys.
Economic growth and vibrant communities – Investing in infrastructure and support for active travel can increase economic growth and vibrancy. Those walking, wheeling and cycling tend to spend more money locally than drivers. Increasing active travel can stimulate economic growth in urban areas and benefit local shops
It is inclusive and reduces inequalities – Accessible walking, wheeling, cycling and good public transport links can reduce inequalities by giving equal access to employment, education and other services.
Activities and Projects
Click on any of the projects or activities below to find out more about the work we do around the theme of Smarter Travel.