Building better choices: New report sets out opportunities for fairer transport in rural Scotland

A new report by the Institute for Public Policy Research examines transport infrastructure in rural Scotland and presents recommendations for a fairer transport system. Scotland Director at Sustrans, Karen McGregor, explores the study and discusses the best way forward.

“Transport in rural Scotland is not working for the people living there, particularly those living on low incomes.” This is the blunt assessment of a new, independent report published by the Institute for Public Policy Research (IPPR) this week. 

Says Sustrans’ McGregor: “We all know that feeling. Desperately checking if we’ve missed the bus, because to miss it is to be stuck, seemingly endlessly, until the next one arrives.  

Despite being a familiar experience, it’s one felt most acutely by our rural communities. Poorly served by most transport infrastructure, by and large they have had to rely on their own cars to get around. 

And while that might have been a solution in the past, it’s now becoming an increasingly unaffordable option.  

As the report from the IPPR points out, increased mobility opens more opportunities for people living in rural areas to access employment, education and other vital public services. At the same time, the Scottish Government has set its sights on cutting car miles by 20 percent by the end of the decade. 

While we all share a responsibility to meet this target, action should be taken first by those who are most able to make changes.  For rural communities, there is a golden opportunity to build better communities and transport links.”


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