A majority of people living in Scottish town and cities think we shouldn’t need cars for everyday journeys.
A survey by YouGov found that a third of those in towns and cities think they should live within a 20 minute walk of everyday needs.
The survey, commissioned by walking and cycling charity Sustrans Scotland, called the Reducing Car Use report, investigated the influences behind people’s travel choices and how they viewed different types of transport.
It also looked at the best ways to encourage people to reduce their personal car use and found that people wanted to live in healthier and more attractive places.
More than half of those surveyed support a range of measures to reduce car use in towns and cities, including: Closing off streets directly outside schools to all traffic at drop off and pick up times, Stopping polluting vehicles from entering areas of high air pollution to improve air quality, Creating regular car free days at weekends and Restricting traffic in residential streets.
Speaking about the findings, Sustrans Scotland Director Grace Martin said: “Too many neighbourhoods in Scotland have been planned around car travel at the expense of providing the local jobs and services that a community needs to thrive.
“We need to make sure that planning towns and cities focusses on creating healthy, low carbon neighbourhoods, where people live within a 20-minute walk of everyday services and needs.
“This includes putting a stop to building new roads when other options exist to improve public transport, along with walking and cycling.
“We should be taking bigger steps to ensure that walking, cycling and public transport are the most attractive, convenient and cheapest ways to get around our towns and cities.
“In fact, it should be a no-brainer.”
Past research however found more than one million Scots live in areas at risk of transport poverty where people do not have access to essential services or work because of a lack of nearby amenities and affordable transport options.
Edinburgh mum, Insani Soleha has been driving for over a decade.
The 40-year-old uses her car to go to college, where she is training to be a hairdresser, as well as go to the shops, for socialising and for ferrying around her two children, Aisha, 17 and Thea 4.
Insani says she would love to stop using her car if possible, but it’s currently too convenient for her to give up.
“I started college in August and getting there by bus is a nightmare,” she explains.
“The bus times don’t work for me and the journey takes forever. And on top of that, I need to pick up my youngest from childcare in the evenings at a particular time. Having a car makes everything just so much handier.”
She admits that being a parent makes her default to the car more quickly due to it often being the most practical mode of transport.
But she would love to have the ability to choose to use other ways of getting around. “I tend to walk whenever possible especially if my destination is close by. Or I’ll take a bus, if it’s going the right way at the right time.
“I do have a bike and cycle from time to time too. But my youngest is too big now to fit on the back and she gets tired if we go too far. I then end up having to carry her and her bike, which isn’t ideal,” she says.
“I want to walk more as you get to be more active and it’s really good for you, but with small children it’s really hard.
“Once my kids have left home, I would love to give up my car but for now, it is just too convenient.”