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Prepare for car-sharing surge, councils told

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Transport charity CoMoUK calls for new travel models for post-Covid Scotland

Councils should take advantage of changing commuter habits by introducing car-sharing strategies, a leading transport charity has said.

In a briefing for all 32 local authorities in Scotland, CoMoUK said office-based workers are more likely to work at home in the post-coronavirus era.

For many workers, that means running their own vehicle will be less affordable, making the prospect of car clubs more appealing.

CoMoUK is now calling on councils to create more spaces for car clubs on public roads and to target specific areas where people will be changing their working habits.

The charity also highlighted other shared transport initiatives that can help drive economic recovery and reduce harmful emissions. These include schemes such as shared mobility hubs, linking up different forms of transport, and the expansion of bikeshare projects.

Scotland director Lorna Finlayson also said focusing on deprived areas could improve health outcomes for those on lower incomes, and help tackle transport poverty.

She added: “We know that one of the changes in a post-Covid economy will be more people working at home. That will reduce the number of commuter journeys made in a car, as many people just won’t see the benefit of running their own vehicle any longer.

“This will open the door for car club schemes, and councils need to be ready with a strategy to take advantage of these shifts in behaviour.

“It benefits everyone, as car clubs are more likely to use environmentally-friendly vehicles, and it will reduce the amount of traffic on the streets while saving people money.
“Covid-19 has devastated Scotland’s economy and we can’t go back to the old ways of doing things. If local authorities start preparing for a green future now, it could help save commuters money and move Scotland closer to hitting its climate change targets.”