Charity calls for ‘mobility hubs’ for large housing developments

A shared transport charity is calling for large housing developments in Scotland to contain ‘mobility hubs’ for transport as a condition of planning consent to improve the environment and reduce congestion.

Responding to a Scottish Government consultation, Collaborative Mobility UK (CoMoUK) said greener travel should be at the heart of future planning aspirations. The charity wants developers of housing estates containing 50 dwellings or more to create hubs containing facilities such as electric vehicle charging, bike sharing and car club schemes.

In smaller developments of 25 homes or more, housebuilders should be required to install at least one shared transport initiative, the charity added.

The Scottish Government’s Fourth National Planning Framework (NPF4) recently closed for submissions and asked for views on how the country’s planning structure could help the environment, boost the economy and improve public health.

CoMoUK said transport contributes 36% of greenhouse gasses in Scotland, and that the largest source within that is private cars. The charity wants more focus on the promotion of shared car schemes and encouraging cycling and shared transport.

CoMoUK revealed it is pioneering the development of European-style mobility hubs. These bring together public transport stops for buses, trams and trains with bike share schemes, car clubs, e-scooters, electric vehicle charging points, bike racks and shared taxi rides, as well as community facilities – all with covered waiting areas, real-time journey planning information, walking areas and disabled access.

Lorna Finlayson, Scotland director of CoMoUK, said, “Scotland cannot achieve the reduction in greenhouse gasses it needs without changing the way people move about. Reform to the planning system over the coming years provides an opportunity to do exactly that. All over the country new housing estates are being built – that provides the perfect chance to install more mobility hubs.

“People who have just moved are more open to changing their transport habits and trying out new opportunities. This is an action the government could take now which would have a positive impact on the environment, the economy and public health. Getting this right will help everyone and assist the government in many of the targets it has set itself across a range of issues.”