There could be a move away from public transport use in Scotland after the pandemic lockdown is lifted, according to Roseanna Cunningham, the Scottish Government’s Environment Secretary.
She said while it was positive that global emissions have fallen over the past month, there would be ‘unintended consequences’ for public transport.
According to Transport Scotland, cycling has increased by 35% during the lockdown with more people choosing to walk. Demand for public transport is 90-95% lower than usual.
Speaking at Holyrood’s Environment, Climate Change and Land Reform Committee, Ms Cunningham said: “I would have a significant concern about the impact on public transport as we try to get back to some semblance of normality, and whether or not there is a sense that people won’t want to go back into mass situations, mass public transport.”
“We’re not quite sure yet how that might look, and that’s where the potential for making a difference is a little bit more complicated than simply saying, ‘It’s great that there aren’t cars on the road, look how clear everything is, and it’s nice to get all this walking and cycling done. We need to think about what happens in terms of the role of public transport now, moving forward, because there could be some very unintended consequences as a result.”