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Transport, Environment and Rural Affairs

This section details young people's calls for how Scotland can improve our transport system for those struggle to access it, protect our environment through improving packaging and how we should take the Climate Emergency.

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Discounted or free transport for groups who struggle to access travel

Whilst free and discounted travel provision is improving for many young people across Scotland, young people are worried that various groups face being left behind. 79.2% of young people agreed that ‘The possibility of discounted or free transport should be explored for groups who struggle to access travel such as carers, Armed Forces young people and those in recovery from drug and alcohol addiction.‘ 8.6% disagreed and  12.2% didn’t know.

You need to meet up with people. I began to lose the ability to socialise and speak to people throughout lockdown, I found it really hard to have conversations. Beyond COVID, if you don’t have access to transport you can have the same problem.

– Armed Forces young person.

Improving use of packaging

Protecting the environment is high on young people’s agenda for this coming Parliamentary term. To help move us towards this, young people agreed that ‘The food and retail industry should:’

  • Make it possible to recycle and reuse packaging (Agree 93.5% Disagree 2.4% Don’t know 4.1%)
  • Avoid using too much packaging in their products (Agree 90.7% Disagree 3.9% Don’t know 5.4%)
  • Make it possible for people to rely less on plastic packaging (Agree 89.3% Disagree 3.9% Don’t know 6.8%)
  • Make it possible for people to rely less on packaging that can only be used once (Agree 85.8% Disagree 4.7% Don’t know 4.4%)

Climate Justice

The global climate emergency is an issue of climate justice, where those who contribute least to greenhouse gas emissions are most impacted. Countries most responsible for greenhouse gas emissions must: 

  • Be the first to reduce their emissions (Agree 75.4% Disagree 6.0% Don’t know 18.7%)
  • Share benefits of their increased wealth and development with those countries most impacted by climate change:  (Agree 71.4% Disagree 9.8% Don’t know 18.8%)
  • Compensate loss and damage incurred in less developed countries as a result of climate change by contributing finances to a global fund, supporting research and working on international cooperation (Agree 69.9% Disagree 8.1% Don’t know 22.0%)

Funding for sustainable travel

When we asked young people whether they though that ‘Transport Scotland and the Scottish Government should provide funding to support initiatives which make it easier, cheaper, and safer for young people to use active and sustainable travel options.’, 89.0% agreed, 3.4% disagreed and 7.5% didn’t know.

Support for the #EveryoneAboard campaign to extend free bus travel to under 25s and those on low-income benefits

In support of the Poverty Alliance’s Everyone Aboard campaign, Mollie McGoran MSYP wrote a guest blog to share the Scottish Youth Parliament’s support for the campaign. You can read the blog in full by clicking here, or here’s a snapshot below:

As part of our ongoing Bounce Back campaign, achieving a green recovery is a priority for the Scottish Youth Parliament. As the TERA committee, we know that sustainable travel must be a key part of any green recovery for Scotland and so we have recently looked into removing the financial barrier for young people to access sustainable public transport by providing them with free bus travel. This will increase opportunities for employment, education and extracurricular activities for all young people under 25, and aid them in participating fully in society.

Our 2018 national campaign, All Aboard, aimed ‘To improve young people’s experience of public transport in Scotland’. To achieve this aim, the campaign focused on three themes: Reducing Fares, Accessibility and Bus Standards. We believe that Transport Scotland and the Scottish Government should provide funding to support initiatives which make it easier, cheaper, and safer for young people to use active and sustainable travel options.

Through our campaign survey, cost of public transport was highlighted as one of the main deterrents, with nearly one third of young people who responded to this question saying they would use the bus more regularly if it was cheaper, or if there were promotions or higher concessionary discounts.

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