Future mobility systems

To help reduce emissions in the transport sector, and meet the net-zero target, in 2020 the Scottish Government committed to a 20% reduction in car kilometres (km) by 2030.

This project set out to increase understanding of public perceptions, user needs, and approaches to support uptake of future low-carbon mobility systems in Scotland. The report examines public perceptions towards the 20% reduction commitment. It details findings from six two-hour focus groups conducted virtually in July and August 2021.

The original was refocused to include lessons from the Covid-19 pandemic, and links to the UK-wide research project, Covid-19 Transport, Travel and Social Adaption Study (TTAS), which is examining longitudinal and regional impacts of the pandemic on transport and travel in Scotland and England, and how people have adapted.


Key findings

Car clubs & car sharing

  • Most focus group participants not aware of car clubs or car sharing schemes; felt they needed more information.
  • Participants viewed lift and ride sharing more negatively than car clubs; the two different schemes can be easily confused.
  • Desire for club cars to be in easy-to-access and safe-to-access locations.
  • Those participants who were young people and inexperienced drivers raised questions about car club pricing structures.
  • Some participants interested in using car clubs as alternative to longer car journeys when linked with other transport modes, for example, trains and accessing car clubs at stations.
  • Some households with 1+ cars see car clubs as a viable alternative to the 1+ car, but car clubs do not currently appeal as an alternative to household car ownership.

Reducing car kilometres – public perceptions as to what needs to be in place

Focus group participants would like to see:

  • improvements to public transport, making it ‘more accessible, more affordable with a reliable and frequent service’ (quote from focus group)
  • a central place for information on travel options and alternatives to car travel
  • more services come to the home g. grocery, takeaways, non-food deliveries
  • a continuation of working from home and flexible working options
  • car pooling and car sharing for work
  • improvements in cycle infrastructure especially in rural areas
  • electric vehicle (EV) options for mobility vehicles and accessible EV charging infrastructure

There are some journeys which participants are less willing to adapt, such as grocery shopping, leisure journeys which involves transporting equipment, and journeys with 1+ children. There is also some hesitation about changing journeys over winter.