ENVIRONMENTAL campaigners have called on the Scottish Government to explain how they will reduce car travel by 20% as they mark Car Free Day. 

The annual event aims to show how communities could be improved with fewer vehicles on the road with events across Scotland aiming to raise awareness of alternative methods of transport

However, Friends of the Earth (FoE) Scotland say they are yet to see any details from the Scottish Government explaining how it will achieve its target of reducing car travel by 20%. 

The Scottish Government has previously pledged to reduce the number of car journeys by 2030 with a plan set to be released later this year. 

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Gavin Thomson from FoE said: “Transport is Scotland’s biggest source of climate emissions, it’s creating dangerous levels of air pollution and it’s costing people far too much money. It needs to change. 

“The Scottish Government has committed to reducing car travel by 20%, but we’ve yet to see any detail on how they will deliver this. 

“It’s clear that our cities should be limiting cars, opening up space for communities. A regular car free day in cities would be a great idea.”

The group say that all councils in Scotland should be aiming to reduce the number of cars on the road as people mak Car Free Day, arguing fewer cars can create stronger economies and communities by boosting small businesses and high streets as well as improving public health. 

FoE Scotland claim air pollution primarily from traffic is responsible for 2500 premature deaths in Scotland every year. 

Research by the Clean Cities Campaign suggests 62% of people asked support the idea of one car free day per week to open up streets to walking, cycling and improved air quality. 

If implemented, the equivalent of 541,000 to 945,000 barrels of oil per year could be saved. 

A Scottish Government spokesman said: “World Car Free Day is a chance to imagine how our towns and cities would be healthier, safer and happier spaces to live, work in and visit, with fewer cars on the road.

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“Car use reduction is necessary, alongside a switch to cleaner vehicles, to enable us to decarbonise the transport system at a pace that is sufficient to meet our statutory emissions targets. 

“We’ve outlined our world leading commitment to reduce car kilometres travelled by 20% by 2030 and have published a route map on how the government intends to achieve this.

“As outlined in the route map, the scale of the challenge means that we need to take forward a broad combination of interventions, including infrastructure, incentives and regulatory actions. Examples of this include the landmark policy of providing free bus travel for U22s, coupled with record funding for active travel.”