Just transition for the transport sector: a discussion paper

This discussion paper is intended to support engagement on a just transition for the transport sector. Building on this engagement, a draft targeted action plan and route map (late 23/24) will outline the key steps to delivering a fair transition for the sector.

Themes For Discussion

This section outlines a number of priority areas for transformational progress: themes 1 and 2 focus on demand management, whilst themes 3 and 4 cover maximising economic opportunities.

1. Reducing inequalities through reducing car use

2. Facilitating viable alternatives to car use

3. Capturing the opportunities from investment, trade and innovation in the transport transition

4. The skills and jobs in the transport transition

Demand management

Demand management[13] covers disincentives and incentives ("sticks" and "carrots") that can result in reduced car use.

We have committed to reducing car kilometres by 20% by 2030, in line with the Climate Change Committee's advice.[14] Scottish Government recognises the inequity of a status quo that prioritises car use at the expense of other modes. It also recognises that widening access to private motor vehicles will only increase the negative impacts associated with cars, many of which also apply to electric vehicles, and which fall disproportionately on the most vulnerable in society.[15] The 20% reduction in car kilometres route map makes it clear that we must instead focus on enabling sustainable travel behaviours and on widening access to alternatives, including for those who feel forced into car ownership due to the lack of alternative travel options.

The route map commits to exploring demand management options to discourage unnecessary car use, and the Scottish Government commissioned research in 2022 to provide options that meet our objectives in a fair and equitable way. Using the research findings, we will work with local and regional partners to develop a Demand Management Framework by 2025.

Theme 1: Reducing inequalities through reducing car use

Car use reduction and disincentives

There are many challenges associated with reducing car use. How can we discourage car use whilst not unduly penalising those least able to pay or who have no realistic alternative to car use and ownership? What considerations are needed for larger, more polluting road vehicles?

Car use reduction is necessary to meet our statutory emissions targets. It can also bring wider benefits such as contributing to reductions in:

  • the negative impacts on health and wellbeing through poor air quality (1,700 premature deaths in Scotland each year)
  • road danger (140 were killed and 1,615 seriously injured in road collisions in Scotland in 2021)
  • physical inactivity (contributes to 2,500 deaths in Scotland each year)
  • noise pollution and community severance

Importantly, negative aspects of car use fall disproportionately on those who are already more vulnerable and disadvantaged. Reducing the volume of private vehicles on the road can also help create capacity and improve journey times for those where travel is more car-dependent, such as blue badge holders and certain tradespeople, as well as for other vehicles such as buses, the emergency services and freight.

Scottish transport legislation contains a suite of options for local authorities, including road user charging, workplace parking licensing, and pavement parking prohibitions. The Scottish Government will work with all local authorities to support equitable measures which discourage car use, while raising revenue for greater investment in public transport and active travel for a fairer and greener transport system. At a national level we are taking an evidence-based approach to what might work to achieve change, including learning from what others are doing in the UK and internationally. This is why we commissioned AECOM to undertake an analysis of demand management options to achieve a 20% reduction in car kilometres in Scotland. The research is now complete and will be published in addition to the the updated route map in the coming months. It will help inform the development of our own policy measures, and also possible reforms of reserved motoring taxes – including the case for devolution of powers over these taxes and duties.

The Scottish Government will continue to press the UK Government on the need for reform of existing taxes related to motoring. This is essential in order to create a tax system that better incentivises the transition to ZEVs, and protects future revenues to fund interventions that support a shift to healthier, fairer and more sustainable travel.

Any approach must consider situations where people have no alternative but to use cars. For example, appropriate public transport options may simply not exist, or they might be prohibitively expensive. The commute time between an individual's home and their place of work may be significantly longer than driving due to poor public transport connectivity, or they may not have the opportunity within their sector to work from home. Poor availability, reliability, accessibility or speed of public transport, or lack of digital alternatives can lock people into car dependency. Walking, cycling or wheeling may not be viable options, either due to personal circumstances or an absence of suitable infrastructure.

In 2021, the UK's National Audit Office reported that rising sales of SUVs and an increase in road traffic had cancelled out reductions in CO2 emissions from electric car sales. Evidence suggests that action is required now in order to address personal vehicles with high emissions, as given the average lifespan of 15 years, these emissions may be "locked in" until the 2030s. There is also evidence that heavier electric vehicle models could be producing more particle pollution from tyre wear.

Discussion points

  • What are the different considerations we need to explore to ensure that reducing car use also reduces inequalities?
  • With people on lower incomes less likely to own cars, we need to carefully examine the circumstances in which households own multiple cars. How can we make an approach to reducing car use for multi-car households fair? What type of evidence is needed to support this approach?1
  • What further considerations around the weight of vehicles needs to be undertaken in reducing car use?

Vans and freight

Distribution networks, freight and last mile delivery are all vital for business. Existing commitments in the Climate Change Plan update identify the need to work with the industry to understand the most efficient methods to decarbonise and remove the need for new petrol and diesel heavy vehicles by 2035. Whilst work to support this is underway, any approach to freight decarbonisation needs to fully consider where the costs will fall, and in particular, the impact on small businesses including the around 5,000 Small to Medium Enterprises (SME) road haulage operators.

Recent research for Transport Scotland on measures targeting last mile delivery found that it will be difficult to implement any new policies that specifically focus on last mile delivery. This is due to a lack of visibility of the organisations involved and data on the goods being moved.[16] Any consideration of distribution raises important broader questions associated with consumer consumption patterns, in particular in relation to last mile delivery and e-commerce. Based on ClimatexChange's analysis, Royal Mail represents the largest last mile fleet in Scotland, with the rest of the top 10 comprised of last mile couriers, supermarkets and one pharmaceutical company.[17]

E-commerce brings many benefits (particularly for those unable to travel to shops). Whilst this does help to reduce the need to travel, there is a need to explore what sustainable online options entail. There is an evidence gap that needs to be explored, particularly in striking a balance between using fewer resources and using online options to reduce the need to travel.

Discussion points

  • How should the costs of freight decarbonisation be share:, e.g. split between the haulage operator, the business needing the goods to be moved, or the consumer buying the goods?
  • What types of online delivery options can be considered sustainable, for example, accepting longer and slower forms of delivery?
  • What impact would road pricing have on consumers? How could this be made equitable?
  • Are there specific types of e-commerce that could be subject to road pricing? What type of data would be required to make this possible?
  • What type of approaches could apply to freight?

Relevant Just Transition Outcomes:

  • People and Equity
  • Jobs, Skills and Economic Opportunities

Theme 2: Facilitating viable alternatives to car use (including public transport, place-based and digital solutions)

Discouraging car use cannot be taken forward in isolation: sufficient alternatives must be in place for people and businesses. Ensuring these alternatives are accessible is a key just transition issue.

A fundamental barrier to the uptake in public transport is availability. A number of bus routes are facing cuts, consequently impacting the ability to use public transport instead of private cars. A range of factors have impacted service levels since the pandemic in 2019 – including a shortage of bus drivers, rising operational costs and changing travel patterns with more people working from home and shopping online. This has impacted the reliability and commercial viability of bus services.

The majority of services in Scotland operate in an open, deregulated market. The provision of local bus services is a matter for individual bus operators who use their own commercial judgement on service routes, frequencies and vehicle types. Under the Transport Act 1985, local authorities have a duty to identify where there is a social need for particular bus services and can subsidise these at their discretion. This allows local transport authorities to influence the frequency and routing of services, however this is entirely a matter for local authorities to consider and action.

The Scottish Government is bringing forward a range of options for local authorities to consider in the Transport (Scotland) Act 2019, including running their own bus services, formal partnerships, and franchising. These provisions will empower local authorities with the flexible tools they need to respond to their own transport challenges. In addition, authorities are also able to request more information from bus operators via a new information-sharing process for services, where the operator intends to vary or cancel existing service registrations. The information gathered from operators enables authorities to determine what additional services they wish to subsidise.

Public transport availability also means considering the suitability of public transport for journeys that involve a number of stages. As the NTS2 identifies, women tend to "trip-chain" more often, making multi-purpose trips and combining travel to work with trips for other purposes, such as taking children to school, looking after family or carrying out shopping.

Improving the availability of public transport may not guarantee sufficient changes in behaviour. There are other barriers that can discourage or prevent use of public transport, such as cost, accessibility and convenience.

Generally, people in more densely populated areas will have a better range of alternatives to car-based transport. For example, the Glasgow rail network is one of the best urban rail network outside London with reasonable fares, while the Glasgow Subway serves lower income communities. In rural and remote areas there are fewer alternatives and communities face greater challenges around reliability of options, in particular in the event of extreme weather events and climate change impacts.

A frequent, reliable, affordable and convenient public transport system with comprehensive coverage has the potential to alleviate transport poverty by improving the viability of non-car transport options. This would in turn improve accessibility to employment, services and activities for lower-income households.

This section considers the measures that could persuade more individuals to change the way they travel (or reduce travel) and increase their uptake of public transport (with separate consideration of some of the different requirements for rural environments). People on lower incomes in Scotland are much more likely to use buses than trains, compared to those on higher incomes, and consequently this section primarily explores public transport in terms of bus transport. Bus remained by far the most commonly used form of public transport in 2021-2022, representing 79% of public transport journeys.[18] It also considers safety on public transport primarily from the perspective of women and girls (for reasons detailed in the following section), although notes the principle of intersectionality in which interventions addressing inclusion for one group often benefit people with other protected characteristics.[19]

This section will also explore other alternatives to private car ownership, notably in the form of car sharing models that can supplement public transport availability and support a reduction in the number of single-occupancy vehicles. Whilst mode shift represents a key opportunity to reduce car use, reducing trips and combining journeys within vehicles is one of the sustainable travel behaviours.

Barriers to urban public transport uptake

The 20% reduction in car kilometres route map identifies a number of interventions to support switching modes, in particular through the findings of the ongoing Fair

Fares Review in light of the imbalance of public transport costs compared to car use. One specific area that constitutes a barrier to public transport is safety, as the recent report on Women's and girls' views and experiences of personal safety when using public transport demonstrates.[20] Whilst this section predominantly focuses on public transport, some of the principles around safety equally apply to active travel infrastructure, for instance, the need to ensure active travel routes are safe and well lit.

The report on women's and girls' personal safety on public transport notably identifies concerns around travelling at night and the reliability of services, underpinned by generalised anticipatory anxiety about potential harassment, assault or anti-social behaviour. This section builds on the recommendations within the report, particularly around developing credible and accessible information and guidance on what to do when feeling threatened and better access to the technology on services.

The public agency responsible for Toronto, Canada's transport system, the Toronto Transit Commission, has introduced a number of measures to increase safety on its bus routes. This includes a Request Stop programme which allows all passengers travelling alone between 9pm and 5am to ask the bus driver to stop at points between bus stops.[21] The programme was initially only targeted at women, but has since been extended to any passengers following requests from LGBTQ+ rights groups.

Ensuring information on public transport options is readily available is another key pillar to support enhanced accessibility of public transport, particularly alongside integrated ticketing systems. Transport Scotland's recent survey on smart and integrated ticketing sought views on the future of smart and integrated ticketing.[22] However, a reliance on personal technology would also risk excluding some older transport users, as well as those without smartphone access.

Concerns have been raised, including in our phase 1 engagement, around the inconvenience and expense incurred by a non-integrated transport system, with inconvenience constituting a major barrier to modal shift towards public transport. However, it is worth noting that buses in Scotland operate in a deregulated market, meaning it is subject to competition law and at the discretion of service providers. The 2018 Smart Delivery Strategy is being refreshed and will shape its focus based on the outputs of the survey.

Discussion points

  • How could any potential revenues raised from road pricing explicitly support the provision of public transport services?
  • Is there a need to redesign public transport routes to better suit people's travel patterns?
  • What are the factors that discourage people from using public transport more frequently?
  • What are other barriers to public transport use, particularly for workers in the night-time economy?
  • Using Toronto's Request Stop programme as an example, what measures could help to make people feel safer when travelling by bus?
  • How can public transport become a more attractive option for those living on the outskirts of urban areas?
  • For inclusivity purposes, how can the benefits of smart and integrated ticketing be shared among those who are less reliant on smartphones?

Role of car sharing and active travel

A shift towards shared cars in urban areas could support lower car ownership, more road space for public and active travel modes, better utilisation of zero emission cars and higher occupancy rates.[23] The proportion of single occupancy car trips in Scotland has increased over time from 62% in 2007, to 64% in 2012, and up to 66% in 2018. In particular, where public transport services are infrequent or unsuitable for journeys – for instance those requiring multiple connections – it may be that shared transport or active travel provide more suitable travel opportunities.

Reversing the trend of single occupancy car trips through ride sharing, either formally through apps or workplace schemes, or informally between neighbours, could have a significant impact, with minimal additional infrastructure/cost requirements (these changes are assumed to increase car occupancy rate by 10% by 2030 in Scotland).

Increased active travel, including cycling, walking and wheeling, can play a role in achieving positive health outcomes, and can address pollution issues arising from existing transport patterns. The WHO European Centre for Environment and Health's 2022 report in particular highlighted specific effects of active travel modes, including reducing mortality risk by at least 10%, cardiovascular disease risk by 10%, and type 2 diabetes risk by 30%.[24] The recently published Cycling Framework for Active Travel provides a delivery plan for cycling, including delivering safe cycling infrastructure, ensuring fair access, and training and education.[25]

However, active travel will be constrained by many of the same challenges facing public transport uptake from a safety point of view, including well-lit paths and dedicated space for pedestrians, wheelchair users and cyclists.

Discussion points

  • What are the main barriers preventing further uptake of car sharing?
  • What are the barriers preventing further active travel uptake?
  • Where can government most effectively play a role in supporting car sharing, particularly in areas where better public transport connectivity is challenging?
  • Thinking beyond transport, can new platforms based around car sharing, including peer-to-peer car sharing, meet social outcomes in supporting provision to essential services?

Barriers in rural areas

The above has focused on public transport barriers in urban environments, given that public transport often represents more of a feasible alternative to car journeys in large urban areas. More than half of all journeys under five miles are made using unsustainable modes.[26]

Alongside providing additional services that are needed in rural areas, a network of good quality, inter-connected local places in rural areas should be created. Applying the 20 minute neighbourhood concept will help to provide access to the wide range of facilities, services, and opportunities that communities require to flourish.

In line with the 20% reduction in car kilometres route map, the Scottish Government recognises that people in rural areas will not be expected to reduce the distance they travel by car at the same pace as urban areas. Scottish Household Survey participants in rural areas identified 'lack of service' and 'too infrequent services' as barriers to public transport use.[27] Amid a cost-of-living crisis, the affordability of bus travel in rural communities remains a concern.[28] Demand responsive transport, that is to say smaller vehicles that provide shared transport to users and are not bound by fixed routes, are already operational in parts of Scotland, and require advance booking. Some services are designed for specific groups of people in the community who are likely to have more issues with mobility, such as elderly or disabled people.

The transport system and its networks regularly face challenges from weather-related events (such as flooding, landslides and high winds), which, as a result of climate change, are projected to increase. These can affect the most vulnerable people and communities disproportionately. There is a need for additional adaptation and resilience measures, including improved connectivity, to avoid an increase in costly disruption and loss of service on transport networks.

Ensuring that enough services can be carried out digitally will also play a role in reducing reliance on unsustainable travel. The Updated Digital Strategy[29] sets out a vision to allow Scotland to fulfil its potential in the digital world by embracing the potential of data and digital technology.

Through the Strategy, we are committed to measures such as delivering broadband coverage for all, improving rural 4G mobile coverage, and providing support and training for those in need. Already, the £463 million invested in the Digital Scotland Superfast Broadband programme has transformed access to broadband in rural areas – 65% of premises in Orkney, 75% in Shetland, and 79% in the Western Isles now able to access superfast broadband.

Public services relating to local government and healthcare are already increasingly moving online. The Strategy sets out our commitment to new and ambitious digital reform programmes for key areas of government, including health and social care, learning, justice, planning, schools, and agriculture and the rural economy.

Discussion points

  • What more digital provision should be explored to reduce reliance on travel?
  • What role could a wider rollout of demand responsive transport play in a sustainable public transport system in rural areas? What kind of journeys could they most usefully undertake? Are there limitations to existing demand responsive transport that will need to be tackled to ensure adequate options for rural users?
  • What other measures could help to reduce the need for people in rural areas to travel by car?

Relevant Just Transition Outcomes:

  • People and Equity
  • Communities and Places
  • Environment, Biodiversity and Adaptation

Maximising economic opportunities in transport

Transport is a key part of the Scottish economy. Transport goods and services contributed £5.23 billion in gross value added (GVA) in 2021.[30] The sector sustained 20,365 businesses, with a turnover of £10.91 billion and employing 104,650 people in 2022. It produced £3.75 billion in exports to the UK and overseas in 2019, £1.3 billion of which were international exports.[31] As transport in Scotland and around the world decarbonises, there is potential for our zero emissions mobility sectors to grow, presenting opportunities for jobs, business growth, trade and investment.

'Mission Zero', Transport Scotland's plan for decarbonising transport, aims for Scotland to be at the forefront of markets for zero emissions mobility, to be a global destination for innovation and investment, and ensure people and places are benefiting fairly from the transition.[32]

As well as being an economic sector in its own right, transport activity supports economic activity across the rest of Scotland's economy. It is how people access work or school, and how goods that are created or used in Scotland are moved. This makes transport a key enabler of productivity and the wellbeing economy. There are therefore wider issues around wellbeing, regional economic prosperity, and labour market equity associated with transport. These will need to be addressed through the Transport Just Transition Plan if we are to maximise the opportunities of the net zero transition.

Theme 3: Capturing opportunities from investment, trade and innovation

Our aim is for Scotland to create a sustainable decarbonised transport system (that is, transport infrastructure and the vehicles that use it) and supply chain that is on track to meet its net zero emissions target by 2045. The following section sets out the areas of the transport vehicle supply chain where Scotland may be well placed to grasp opportunities. We want to ensure Scotland is positioned to capture the economic benefit from these opportunities.

Coordinating innovation, support, trade, procurement and skills

We need to join up our support for innovation, business development, trade, procurement and skills to capture the opportunities presented by the shift to a more sustainable future transport system. The Zero Emission Mobility Industry Advisory group identified eight policy levers which need to be addressed through a collaborative approach by key stakeholders if we are to secure significant economic benefits from the transition to zero emission mobility, including:[33]

  • strengthening the innovation ecosystem
  • addressing skills gaps
  • attracting investment
  • developing global market exports
  • public procurement for innovation
  • domestic supply chain opportunities
  • fostering collaboration and installing infrastructure

The Transport Just Transition Plan will aim to develop a co-ordinated plan across these levers to ensure we are positioning Scotland to get the benefits of the transition.

New technologies and Scotland's strengths

The just transition in the transport sector will require a range of new, net zero technologies to move people and goods. These will include:

  • innovative approaches to niche and heavy-duty vehicles
  • hydrogen and fuel cells
  • hydrogen combustion
  • off road, maritime, aviation hydrogen
  • sustainable aviation fuel
  • batteries
  • electric pedal assist vehicles (e-bikes and e-cargo bikes)
  • road transportation

Scotland has a highly skilled workforce with a strong tradition of high-value manufacturing in the marine, energy, aerospace and transport sectors, with particular expertise in niche and heavy-duty vehicles. Scottish companies make buses, refuse collection vehicles, earth moving vehicles, emergency vehicles and marine vessels. We are also at the forefront of the demonstration and deployment of electric and hydrogen technologies and infrastructure. We are working to build capability in these areas to support Mission Zero, and maximise economic and societal benefits.

Across these sub-sectors, technology is at different stages of development and commercialisation. As a first step, Scottish Government is working in partnership with our enterprise agencies, research institutions and the transport sector to understand where Scotland has strengths and potential to grow across these sectors. We are also working with these sectors to understand how they map across to the demand for these innovative goods and services in Scotland and around the world.

We have already identified particular sector strengths in battery and energy storage, on-road heavy duty vehicles, greener railways and hydrogen-powered vehicles. These are areas where Scotland has strengths at international level and where Scottish businesses and research institutions are already driving forward change. Given our existing highly skilled workforce and research institution strengths, Scotland is also well placed to attract inward investment from companies seeking to grow in these sectors.

There are opportunities to build on the current supply chain capabilities around power systems, controls, sensors and batteries to further feed into the zero emissions niche and heavy duty vehicles market, with potential for companies from historical energy sectors to bring relevant expertise. This builds on our academic excellence and opportunities for regional clustering in a number of relevant areas. In particular, these include energy systems, power electronic and electric machines with centres at the University of Strathclyde (Driving the Electric Revolution and the Power Networks Demonstration Centre) and the University of St Andrews (Hydrogen Accelerator). Additionally we have opportunities to support the development of zero emission drivetrains by developing facilities at the Michelin Scotland Innovation Parc (MSIP) in Dundee, and within the Falkirk Investment Zone.

The public sector in Scotland has a key role to play in signalling future demand to the transport sector. This will give businesses the confidence and clarity they need to invest and grow. For example, our focus on public sector fleet decarbonisation has the potential to encourage private investment in refuelling/recharging infrastructure, while giving companies the confidence to invest in zero emission technologies.

It will also be vital that the infrastructure to support a new, low emission transport sector is in place. Scotland is seeking capital investment to support this transition, particularly in electric vehicle charging technology and infrastructure. Any further options explored such as shared car use or road pricing will also require the appropriate physical and digital infrastructure to support a cohesive rollout. In short, there needs to be a rapid coming together of the energy, transport and digital sectors, including new technologies. We must also consider how those technologies interact and the software that sits behind them. Given these interdependencies, the Transport Just Transition Plan will need to map across to the Energy Strategy and Just Transition Plan.

Throughout this consideration of physical infrastructure, and in light of the current and future impacts of climate change, the resilience of Scotland's roads, railways, aviation and ferry routes must be maintained and enhanced. Embedding adaptation and creating well-adapted and resilient transport infrastructure, including net zero infrastructure, is also a potential growth area for Scotland. Doing so could create jobs, building on innovations and business products and services, and supporting regional economies. The forthcoming Transport Scotland Approach to Climate Adaptation and Resilience (ACCAR), a commitment under the NTS2, will (based on our level of influence) set the strategic direction for Scotland's transport system in relation to climate change risks and the associated consequences.

Discussion points

  • In what areas of our transport sector does Scotland have truly internationally significant clusters, innovation assets or businesses?
  • Do other sectors of the economy not yet involved in transport have expertise that could contribute to the transition to a net zero transport system? Could these benefit from the opportunities that the transition presents?
  • What more could the public sector do to drive growth in this sector?
  • How could transport policy in Scotland best meet the changing needs of our economy?

Relevant Just Transition Outcomes:

  • Jobs, Skills and Economic Opportunities
  • Environment, Biodiversity and Adaptation

Theme 4: The skills and jobs needed for the transport transition

Reducing emissions from vehicles relies on the introduction and widespread use of new technologies, particularly zero emission vehicles (ZEVs). It is vital that workers have the skills required to produce and maintain these vehicles, and that Scotland's infrastructure is developed in a way that will enable the upkeep and smooth operation of a decarbonised transport network.

It is estimated that over 65,000 people may need to undertake training at various levels to provide full coverage of skills to support the uptake of ZEVs in Scotland. This includes 15,000 repair and maintenance staff, 20,500 vehicle sales staff, 22,000 emergency services personnel and 7,800 other staff in the automotive retail sector (e.g. roadside assistance and recovery personnel).[34]

The decarbonisation of niche and heavy duty vehicles also presents significant opportunities. There are over 87,000 employees across the HDV landscape that are likely to require some level of skills development as low carbon HDVs are adopted into the fleet. Of this total, between 34,400 and 38,200 people are likely to require some level of skills development relating to low carbon HDVs by 2026 and between 41,000 and 53,200 by 2032.[35]

Meeting these requirements will involve a variety of changes to the transport workforce. In some instances, jobs may no longer exist, or may change beyond recognition. In others, an entirely new skillset will need to be mastered in order to deliver the sector's requirements in a competent and safe manner. The purpose of a managed transition is to ensure that there are enough new opportunities to replace jobs that may not have a place in the future transport system. It is also clear that a new generation of entrants into the sector will be required in order to ensure that Scotland has an adequate future pipeline of skilled workers coming through the education and apprenticeship system.

Attracting and retaining a diverse workforce

In such a skills transition, it will be important to ensure equality of opportunity that recognises the strengths of the existing workforce and attracts new workers into the sector. We will need to work with employers, skills agencies, colleges and universities to ensure that they are providing the right resources at the right times for an adequate supply of skilled labour to support Scotland's transport decarbonisation.

In doing so, we must also look to improve diversification and inclusion across the transport sector workforce. We know, for example, that only 23% of the people working within the transport and storage sector in the UK are women.[36] We also want to better understand any perceived and existing barriers to attracting those from protected groups into the sector, and ensure that fair work practices are available to all. To support this work, we have commissioned specific research into equalities considerations across the transport sector as our draft Just Transition Plan develops.

We know that we have to undertake much work on skills for the transition: there is an opportunity to reset how we shape the jobs of the future to ensure that they are more widely accessible, and to redress existing inequalities.

Transport and the labour market

Both the cost and availability of transport can be a significant barrier to accessing education and employment for residents in low-income neighbourhoods, making social and economic inequities worse. A report commissioned by the Joseph Rowntree Foundation found that unaffordable and unreliable public transport constrains a return to work, particularly in terms of providing commuting options for shift work: poor reliability of bus interchanges in particular acts as a deterrent to applying for jobs.[37] The Poverty and Inequality Commission found that access to transport can reinforce or lessen the impact of poverty.[38] The Just Transition Commission's recent advice states that Just Transition Plans should redress existing inequalities in the relevant sector. This reinforces that the TJTP should create opportunities to improve commuting connectivity for low-income neighbourhoods.

Discussion points

  • What are the existing barriers in recruiting and retaining staff?
    • Are there particular barriers for women? For other currently under-represented groups?
    • Are there specific measures for the sector in terms of supporting Fair Work?
  • What action can Scottish Government (through policy development, regulation or influence) take to ensure sufficient training opportunities are available across the workforce to support upskilling and reskilling? What action can employers take to incorporate Scottish Government directions in upskilling and reskilling?
  • What kind of support do education and skills institutions require to make sure they can provide the required courses/qualifications?
  • What kind of interventions can ensure new skills and jobs opportunities are accessible where transport represents a barrier to employment?

Relevant Just Transition Outcomes:

  • Jobs, Skills and Economic Opportunities
  • Communities and Places
  • People and Equity


Email: justtransition@gov.scot

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