More than third of city space taken up by cars and parking

Analysis also found that more space is dedicated to outdoor smoking than bike parking in Glasgow.

Roads and car parking take up more than a third of space in two of Scotland’s biggest cities, analysis by the Scottish Parliament has found.

Scotland’s Futures Forum – Holyrood’s think tank – used three case studies in Glasgow and Dundee to find how much space is dedicated to private vehicles in comparison to other forms of transport.

It found that roads, car parks and on-street parking account for between 34.5% and 41% of space in the cities.

Green spaces, public transport and cycling infrastructure are “extremely lacking” and “appear to be of relatively low priority”, the analysis said.

In Glasgow, more space is dedicated to outdoor smoking than bike parking, it added.

The think tank’s report – Stealing Our Cities: land-use analysis – made a number of recommendations, including a revision of bus timetables and converting single-level car parks with low usage into green spaces and small business spaces.

It also calls for more toucan crossings to create increased cycling accessibility and restricting on-street parking.

Futures Forum director Claudia Beamish MSP said: “Stealing Our Cities really gets us thinking about what sort of spaces and places we want to live in and welcome visitors to.

“The research shows a depressing dependency on the private car at the sites analysed.

“The recommendations, if acted on widely, would make for a much more pleasant city experience with more green space, easier and safer walking and cycling opportunities.”

The Scottish Parliament’s Presiding Officer Ken Macintosh MSP, chairman of the Futures Forum’s board of directors, added: “All parties in the Scottish Parliament are committed to tackling climate change.

“With transport accounting for over a third of emissions in Scotland, this analysis encourages us all to consider how the status quo can be changed to do that.”

The research was conducted by Marli de Jongh, a PhD student at the University of Glasgow.

It was funded by Sages – an alliance of Scottish universities and the British Geological Society – and supported by the Edinburgh Centre for Carbon Innovation.

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