Issue date: 24 July 2019
The next Regional Transport Strategy will set the vision and help shape how transport and travel in the north east looks in 2040.
Climate change will undoubtedly be a key factor in determining how travel in and around the north east of Scotland is likely to change. The gradual move away from diesel and petrol vehicles, reducing the need to travel due to better internet and digital connections and the desire by many for more active travel such as cycling and walking to improve public health and environment in communities across the North East of Scotland will all be key considerations.
At present the Regional Transport Strategy promotes sustainable travel through the Getabout partnership, to encourage walking, cycling, public transport use and car sharing over single occupancy car use where possible.
The Getabout Partnership is a partnership of: Aberdeenshire Council, Aberdeen City Council, Nestrans, NHS Grampian, University of Aberdeen, Robert Gordon University, North East Scotland College, Energy Saving Trust and the James Hutton Institute. The Getabout partnership has been working together for almost 10 years to promote sustainable transport in the Aberdeen and Aberdeenshire areas.
Over the years Getabout partners have attended many events, produced television, cinema, radio and bus advertising, as well as numerous leaflets and posters. www.getabout.org.uk
Car ownership is high in the north east, with around 80% of households across the region having access to a car. Aberdeenshire has the second highest rate of car ownership in Scotland, with 87% of households having access to at least one vehicle. Car ownership in Aberdeen City has increased from 65% of households in 2005/06 to around 73% in 2017 (Source: Transport and Travel in Scotland, 2017). These high levels of car ownership and a plentiful supply of car parking have made the car the most convenient mode of transport for most and presents a significant challenge to encouraging a shift to more sustainable modes of transport instead of the car.
A recent evaluation of the Getabout Brand and sustainable travel was done in 2018. This included a survey and focus groups. The survey results show that sustainable transport is an important topic for people living in Aberdeen City and Shire with (97%) in the City and (94%) in Aberdeenshire supporting the concept;
The focus groups talked about: The Getabout brand, car sharing/car clubs, sustainable transport, barriers to uptake, poor infrastructure, public transport, perceptions, flexible working, electric vehicles, hydrogen buses, cycle lanes, walking, health, signage and incentives.
They found that most people thought sustainable travel was good and the way forward, but that there were still too many barriers in the way for them to travel this way regularly.