Com­muters in Dundee shun­ning cars.

Fall in driv­ing co­in­cides with in­crease in peo­ple opt­ing for sus­tain­able travel

The Courier & Advertiser (Dundee Edition) - - FRONT PAGE - STE­FAN MORKIS

I am pleased we are trav­el­ling in the right di­rec­tion but there is more to come

Com­muters in Dundee are shun­ning their cars in greater num­bers than ever be­fore.

Fig­ures re­leased by Trans­port Scot­land re­vealed just 54% of com­muters reg­u­larly used their cars to go to and from work in 2017, down from 62.6% in 2016.

The fall in car use has seen cor­re­spond­ing rises in the num­ber of peo­ple walk­ing and cy­cling to work.

The pro­por­tion of peo­ple cy­cling to work rose from just 1.3% of com­muters in 2016 to 6.8% in 2017. The num­ber of peo­ple walk­ing be­tween home and work rose from 13.2% to 14.4%.

Lynne Short, con­vener of Dundee City Coun­cil’s city devel­op­ment com­mit­tee, said the city is work­ing hard to pro­mote the use of sus­tain­able trans­port.

It has in­vested heav­ily in an elec­tric car charg­ing net­work and launched a cam­paign last month en­cour­ag­ing par­ents to walk with their chil­dren to school, rather than driv­ing. The lo­cal author­ity is also in­vest­ing in other ini­tia­tives, in­clud­ing a new bike hire scheme that will al­low peo­ple to “un­lock” com­mu­nal bikes us­ing their smart­phones.

Ms Short said: “The in­for­ma­tion that Trans­port Scot­land has pulled to­gether in its re­port paints a fair and ac­cu­rate pic­ture of peo­ple’s travel habits in Dundee and con­tains no great sur­prises.

“Like ev­ery other ma­jor city in the coun­try we have air qual­ity is­sues, but what I be­lieve sets us apart is our pos­i­tive re­sponse to it, which is high­lighted in this re­port.

“In­creas­ing use of more sus­tain­able forms of trans­port, in­clud­ing walk­ing and cy­cling does not come about by it­self.

“It is a com­bi­na­tion of in­fra­struc­ture in­vest­ment by the coun­cil and its part­ners, as well as aware­ness rais­ing.

“In a compact city like ours with good pub­lic trans­port, cy­cling and walk­ing in­fra­struc­ture and our fo­cus on pro­mot­ing these ways of get­ting around it also re­flects in the be­low-av­er­age fig­ure we have from driv­ers re­port­ing de­lays on their jour­ney. I am pleased we are trav­el­ling in the right di­rec­tion but there is more to come.”

The re­port also re­vealed Dundee has the low­est per­cent­age of car own­er­ship in the coun­try. It found that 44.8% of house­holds in the city have no ac­cess to a car at all.

How­ever, it also found that nearly three-quar­ters of house­holds (74%) have no ac­cess to a bi­cy­cle.

From 2016 to 2017, the pro­por­tion of peo­ple cy­cling to work jumped from 1.3% of com­muters to 6.8%, and coun­cil­lor Lynne Short, inset, said Dundee had a “pos­i­tive re­sponse” to air qual­ity is­sues.

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