Now Scots suffer “transport poverty”

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People are being forced to pay more for travel dependent on where they live  

16th October 2017 by Robert Armour 0 Comments

One million people in Scotland are being pushed into "transport poverty" because of where they live.

Sustrans Scotland, which promotes walking and cycling, made the claim saying a lack of affordable transport pushes some households into car ownership which they cannot afford.

The charity found problem areas with relatively low incomes, high car availability and low access to essential services by public transport.

The organisation said car ownership can put pressure on households with lower incomes.

Its director John Lauder said: "We need a planning system that puts necessary services where people live.

"People should be able to access shops, schools, healthcare and some places of work within a short distance without the need for a car.

"And whilst offering greater and safer opportunities for people to choose to make the same journey by bike, it will offer an alternative to being dependent on a car for some."

The Poverty Alliance backed a call for more affordable transport to be made widely available.

"Too many people living on low incomes have inadequate access to public transport, and other forms of transport sometimes seem out of reach," said its director Peter Kelly.

"By providing better, more integrated transport solutions we can reduce the pressure of rising costs for families across Scotland."

Transport Scotland has said the Scottish government does support sustainable transport.

A spokesman said: "The Scottish government continues to increase investment in sustainable transport, encouraging modal shift to active and public transport, rail and new technologies such as low carbon vehicles.

"We know that active travel, and in particular cycling, can help people to access employment opportunities by expanding access to low cost, low carbon transport options.

"We have invested over £217m in active travel since the start of the 2011 spending review, including this year, and as announced in the Programme for Government, we have doubled the active travel budget from £40m to £80m a year from 2018-2019."