The benefits of sustainable travel to local high streets and town centres



The Scottish Government aims to reduce car kilometres travelled by 20% by 2030, and states that reducing car use will build stronger communities, including revitalising town centres and developing 20-minute neighbourhoods.

This report provides an evidence base on the environmental, economic and social impacts of sustainable travel for local high streets and town centres for those promoting, campaigning on, designing and delivering sustainable travel interventions.

Key Points

  1. The research found that introduction of sustainable travel can result in multiple positive benefits for high streets, such as:
  • better environment
  • making room for people and nature
  • valued places that people enjoy
  • healthier, happier and safer communities
  • thriving businesses, better links to jobs and more spending
  1. The report recommends the following measures, which could be taken to increase sustainable travel to high streets and town centres:
  • Maximise the benefits of sustainable travel through holistic projects that meet community needs.
  • Provide guidance on how to measure benefits and evaluate interventions in order to identify and communicate these benefits effectively.
  • Identified benefits should play an important role in constructive engagement.
  • Groups potentially negatively impacted by interventions need to be particularly catered for in engagement.
  1. As a companion to this report, a suite of engagement materials has been produced for use when engaging with communities, businesses and local representatives on plans to implement sustainable travel measures.