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Opportunity to inform the future of walking, cycling and public transport in Scotland and how this impacts museums

Opportunity to inform the future of walking, cycling and public transport in Scotland and how this impacts museums

Transport Scotland have issued a public consultation on their routemap for walking, cycling and public transport, closing date 6th April 2022, with a view to reduce kilometres travelled by car by 20% by 2030. In this blogpost, we will provide some background on the consultation and why it is important for museums to respond.

Transport accounts for 29% of Scotland’s greenhouse gas emissions, with cars making up 75% of traffic volume on our roads. Carbon reduction modelling has shown that reducing car use is essential to decarbonise transport. With over 50% of all driven journeys in Scotland being less than 5km, and 26% less than 2km, there is plenty of scope for achieving a significant shift to walking, cycling and public transport.

The Scottish Government are looking at ways to change 4 key transport behaviours: reducing the need for travel; choosing local destinations; switching to walking, wheeling, cycling or public transport; and, combining a trip or sharing a journey. Across these 4 areas, there are 32 proposed interventions. The routemap does not seek to eliminate all cars, as this is recognised as neither being realistic nor fair. The guiding principles are that it is collaborative, that the approach is not a one size fits all and that the transition is just.

Whilst the climate emergency is a driver for the routemap, there are also wider benefits to reducing car use in Scotland including improving our public places, making them more attractive, safer and healthier spaces in which to live, work and spend leisure time.

The first and clearest connection to the routemap for museums is as a local destination. Museums are a key component of creating 20 minute neighbourhoods and the Place principles described by the routemap, where people can walk, cycle or take public transport to the services they need within 20 minutes of where they live. A strong community contains leisure facilities and learning opportunities. Intervention 2b, 2c and 2d cover the development of stronger, more vibrant communities.

There is considerable cross over between people currently impacted negatively by car use and audiences museums would like to reach - those on lower incomes as well as younger and older people, women, disabled people and certain minority ethnic groups are less likely to have access to a car. Our journey to attract these groups to museums starts with facilitating good, affordable transport access. Interventions 2e, 3f and 3k look at Mobility Hubs, Fair Fares and a Community Bus Fund. Interventions 3a-3d cover improvements in and access to active travel. Supporting walking and cycling also has the benefit of reducing airbourne pollutants on collections. Museums Galleries Scotland | Identifying and reducing air pollution

The pandemic has seen a big increase in people accessing museums digitally and the Scottish sector is increasingly providing a strong digital and online offer, which supports the aim of the routemap to reduce the need for travel. Intervention 1a looks at how the planning system will support digital roll-out making sure it addresses the impact on local communities and the natural and historic environment. Intervention 1d looks at flexible working practice and the Fair Work First Action Plan.

Designing museums into a low carbon transport system will support the sustainable development and resilience of the sector, for more information and how to get involved:

A route map to achieve a 20 per cent reduction in car kilometres by 2030 | Transport Scotland

Consultation on the 20% Reduction in Car Km Route Map | Transport Scotland

Published 23 February 2022