CoMoUK, a transport charity, is seeking reform of public transport at this election. They are also calling on all parties to listen to their plans for transport hubs at NHS sites as part of wider transport measures.
They have briefed all political parties on their plans for the promotion of car clubs and bike share schemes to help Scotland meet its climate change targets.
The organisation has produced a document called Greener, Fairer and Healthier Scotland asking politicians to think innovatively and introduce flexible on demand bus services to attract passengers back after Covid-19. This would help reduce car dependence in rural areas which are poorly served by public transport.
If every major NHS site became a transport hub, a place where public transport, shared transport and electric vehicle and bicycle facilities can be brought together, the charity says it would play a significant part in making the population healthier. IN addition they recommend that a prescription cycling programme would help improve health and increase transport options for all those on lower incomes. Other proposals like investment in electric vehicle charge-points and mobility credits specifically targeted at low-income families also featured in the blueprint.
Lorna Finlayson, Scotland director of CoMoUK, said: “Scotland faces unprecedented challenges such as meeting our environmental targets, improving health and wellbeing and responding to the devastation caused by Covid.
“Shared transport has a major role to play, and we want to see all political parties take that seriously when they go to the people of Scotland asking for their vote.
“But this is about far more than simply making transport more efficient, cheaper and greener.
“Comprehensive improvements will also make society healthier in body and mind, and could deliver real economic benefits for everyone.
“We also need to see a commitment to new ideas.
“Flexible, on-demand bus services would be one way to help Scottish communities which have been cut-off following service reductions across the country and encourage people out of their cars.
“Mobility hubs are also an important feature of the future.
“They help create 20-minute neighbourhoods – something that’s more important than ever in a post-pandemic era – and they create places of which communities can be really proud.
“This upcoming election is one of the highest-profile in many years.
“We want to see imagination and a commitment to shared transport at the very heart of parties’ plans.”