Across most of Scotland, access to the use of a private car has become essential. Unless you live in a city, getting about becomes very difficult without using a private vehicle, at least some of the time.
Transport accounts for a quarter of Scotland’s greenhouse gas emissions, with cars making up almost 40% of transport emissions. – Transport Scotland.
Transport Scotland and the Convention of Scottish Local Authorities (COSLA) have produced their plans to reduce car use.
Take a look at the number of cars parked in Kirkwall, especially at Orkney Islands Council’s HQ in School Place.
And remember this international report: Dire Warning About the Consequences of Inaction on Climate Change
Cycling, and especially walking, on Mainland Orkney’s roads is fraught with dangers even with the changes to The Highway Code: New Highway Code rules This becomes even worse when there are increased visitor vehicles on the roads, including mobile homes and tour buses.
The consultation recognises that to some extent, “using cars less may be more challenging for some people in certain geographical locations and those who have certain travel needs such as specific disabilities”.
You can find the consultation here: Consultation on the 20% Reduction in Car Km Route Map
“we aim to understand further the public opinion on the approach taken in the route map; as well as opinion on the potential impacts, and mitigation of said impacts, of the interventions on groups with protected characteristics, island communities, and across socio-economic disparity.”
The consultation closes on 6 April 2022.
Most cars are ldle for over 90% of the time (UK average 96% – although this can include many urban based cars which are rarely used for daily journeys
The growing delivery of 24/7 pay as you go car hire (Co-Wheels Car Club) and public bike hire offer flexible personal transport options which can effectively remove the need to own a car.
A local package for a single monthly ‘mobility bill’ could fit well with the Saltire Card (bus pass/ferry deals for Orcadian residents) The improved utilisation of a smaller fleet of cars has some 20+ years of annual user surveys to show that 1 car club car can replace up to 17 cars taking up space when parked. In this way it also becomes faster & cheaper to deliver more trips using new electric and hydrogen powered vehicles, with fewer charging points and parking bays also required
A core use by the local council, replacing their leased pool cars, means that outside working hours, those cars boost the vehicles available for other use, and people can get to drive near new cars with massive savings on the costs – plus all the paperwork, costs & hassles of car ownership are someone else’s problem. many households save £’000’s per year. Council members & staff can also collect cars at any location, rather than coming in to pick up a pool car, and have access to cars when away from the islands for work
With a growing provision of car clubs on the ‘mainland’ there are cost savings and less pressure on deck space for ferry crossings, and even the potential for fast passenger (& light freight) only ferries, halving crossing times, turn-round times, and offering crossings to a wider range of harbours that don’t require costly linkspans &c
A smart traveller might thus travel as a foot passenger and use coach or rail for the long drive South – able to rest or work en route, and collect a car for those final mile connections. This might require some radical revised thinking – perhaps a late-night crossing with a connecting coach or train that can deliver you to Central Scotland for a 09.00 start with a return crossing connecting with a late service (say 21.00 departure from Inverness) coming North
A small employment opportunity might also be available to those with minimal academic certification, but competent in life skills, using small electric and electric assist vehicles for the local deliveries – which for many items rarely exceed 30Kg – cargo cycles carrying 80-250Kg can get around the small streets of Stromness, and ‘park’ closer to the delivery point, or even roll inside to unload. Some (like the Pedalme special design of Urban Arrow) can also switch to a speedy pedicab from a freight carrier.
Some very interesting opportunities happy to describe further – I tweet as BCCletts
Public shout about improving bus services, OIC/Stagecoach step up to the mark and increase bus services.. BUT, most buses I see, outside “peak hours”, have next to no passengers. 🤷♂️