Transport in rural Scotland is not working for the people living there, particularly those on low incomes.

Despite various strategies, road maps and reports, people living in rural Scotland do not feel their transport needs have been considered. At best, many feel the system has not got worse. But for others, declining bus provision and the cost of living crisis has had a significant negative impact on their experience of getting around.

Good quality transport systems mean that people have access to employment, education and other public services. It plays a key role in preventing isolation and loneliness and is important for local economic activity. However, the Scottish government is off track to meet its net zero commitments. Car use in Scotland has continued to grow, while bus provision and patronage have fallen.

The work presented in this report draws on in-depth interviews and a workshop with members of the public living in rural Scotland on low incomes to understand what their experience of the transport system is like. Through this process, we identified a series of themes and developed a set of principles to guide transport policymaking in Scotland.

Using this framework, we put forward three recommendations to fairly address rural transport emissions and reduce car kilometres.