Large housing developments should contain ‘mobility hubs’ for transport as a condition of planning consent, Scottish ministers have been told.
Responding to the Scottish Government’s Fourth National Planning Framework (NPF4) , shared transport charity Collaborative Mobility UK (CoMoUK) said greener travel should be at the heart of the country’s planning future to improve the environment and reduce congestion.
It urged ministers to consider requiring developers of housing estates containing 50 dwellings or more to create hubs containing facilities such as electric vehicle charging, bike sharing and car club schemes.
In smaller developments of 25 homes or more, housebuilders should be required to install at least one shared transport initiative, the charity argued.
Lorna Finlayson, Scotland director of CoMoUK, said: “Scotland cannot achieve the reduction in greenhouse gasses it needs without changing the way people move about. Reform to the planning system over the coming years provides an opportunity to do exactly that.
“All over the country new housing estates are being built – that provides the perfect chance to install more mobility hubs. People who have just moved are more open to changing their transport habits and trying out new opportunities.
“This is an action the government could take now which would have a positive impact on the environment, the economy and public health.
“Getting this right will help everyone and assist the government in many of the targets it has set itself across a range of issues.”
Last month, CoMoUK announced that it would be working with Transport Scotland on the introduction of European-style mobility hubs.
These bring together public transport stops for buses, trams and trains with bike share schemes, car clubs, e-scooters, electric vehicle charging points, bike racks and shared taxi rides, as well as community facilities such as cafés, fitness areas, green space, package collection points and wifi and phone charging – all with covered waiting areas, real-time journey planning information, walking areas and disabled access.
It is hoped that the project in Scotland will build on the trend brought about by the Covid-19 pandemic for people to stay and work more locally, reducing the need to travel unsustainably and re-energising towns to help local businesses recover.