Scotland: new housing ‘forcing car dependency’

12.36 | 13 January 2020 | |

A new report is calling for a ‘radical redesign’ of new housing developments in Scotland, to make it easier for residents to walk and cycle.

The report, published by Living Streets Scotland, assessed three housing developments, all of which were approved following the introduction of the Scottish Government’s designing streets guidance.

Published in 2010, the guidance says new housing developments should ‘increase the attractiveness of walking, cycling and the use of public transport’.

However, the Living Streets Scotland investigation concluded that none of the developments were easy to live in without at least one household car, while pedestrian design, public transport and local facilities were lacking. 

Living Streets Scotland is calling on the Government to do more to meet the aspirations of new homeowners who want to walk more and drive less.

Stuart Hay, director of Living Streets Scotland, said: “The level of car dependence inherent in their design means each development undermines national policy objectives to cut congestion, reduce air pollution and support active lifestyles.

“Each development will make these issues worse without radical redesign to support walking and public transport.”

Scotland’s national survey of attitudes found 64% of people would be willing to walk to the local shops, while 44% would walk to work.

Mr Hay added: “The good news is that there is clear public demand for a change in how we plan communities so new housing has better access to local services and public transport options.

“The challenge is ensuring that these aspects of design are not seen as optional extras by housing developers and local authority planners.”



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