Following the sustainable town initiatives in England, Scotland has dedicated £15 million to encourage ‘green’ travel in seven local authorities.
Dundee, Glasgow’s East End, Falkirk, Dumfries, East Renfrewshire, East Dunbartonshire and Orkney are all set to see wide-ranging initiatives courtesy of the Scottish Government’s ‘Smarter Choices, Smarter Places’ scheme. The SCSP initiative is also supported by the Convention of Scottish Local Authorities.
Better cycling and walking routes are among the improvements to be made under the scheme. Free trial bus and rail passes, car sharing initiatives and improved public transport links will also be seen as part of SCSP.
The success of the investment will be measured in each of the seven communities via 12,000 travel diaries, 4,000 phone interviews and a number of other data sources.
Stewart Stevenson, Scotland’s minister for Transport, Infrastructure and Climate Change said: “Persuading people out of their cars and onto more sustainable forms of travel such as trains, buses, walking and cycling is fundamental to changing Scotland’s travel habits for the better.
“Initiatives such as those being taken forward through Smarter Choices, Smarter Places will help to promote healthier, cheaper, safer and greener travel choices, allowing more people to enjoy the benefits of increased physical activity while reducing their carbon footprint.”
The successes of initiatives in England have paved the way for the SCSP, as Stevenson explained: “Similar schemes, like those in Darlington, Peterborough and Worcester, have delivered impressive results, transforming the travel behaviour of thousands of their residents and this is what we want to achieve. Our projects could result in a catalyst for change right across Scotland.”