Themes and Actions

There are three main themes in the action plan as shown in the table below. Each of these themes are applied to:

  • Services delivered by the Council (CS)
  • Where the Council is the stautory overseeing public body – ‘Plan, develop and operate’ (PDO)
  • Services where the Council is charged with enabling other organisations (EO).
Key themes to achieve net-zero transport

Under the three main themes of Travelling Less, Zero-Emission Transport and Active Travel each action is described briefly below with further details about how projects can be managed and implemented in Appendix B.

A limited set of priority actions are identified. These are highlighted in bold and describe key actions where progress is considered to be essential to achieve the policy goals and targets. Other actions all contribute to the Climate Change goals, but better progress with some actions could allow less progress on others, whilst still meeting the goals.

The priority actions are all planned to achieve rapid scaling up of activity within the first three years of the Action Plan’s lifetime after approval by the Council.

Travelling Less

West Dunbartonshire has been experiencing a cycle of decline in access to opportunities and services. Centralisation of jobs and services, changing proximity of where people live to local services, and longer travel times as public transport coverage declines and road congestion grows, all create demand for more travel which in turn further reduces access.

To enable a virtous cycle that improves access to allow people to travel less the action plan includes:

  • Monitoring and managing access to opportunity – Identify how travel demand can be managed through improvements in access to opportunity with: online access, more local service provision to where people live and better transport connections (including for shared services like parking, car club vehicles, taxis and bus services) (PDO)
  • Information and communication –Information about sustainable transport opportunities and achievements should be disseminated through trusted networks so that achievements can be understood and built upon. This includes open approaches to data sharing and publishing the emissions footprint associuated with good and bad practice. (PDO, EO)
  • Development planning – A commitment to ensure all development planning such as new homes and offices contributes to improving access to local opportunities. Transport assessments for all new development will be required to show how the development contributes to the Council’s net-zero emission goals. Well located new development enables shorter trips and the transport improvements associated with new development such as footpaths and cycleways and improved bus services helps to make West Dunbartonshire less car dependent. (PDO)
  • Closing the opportunity gap – Investment in infrastructure and services to close the gap in access between more mobile people and less mobile people and between the wealthiest and the poorest people. This includes more equitable parking provision, and infrastructure improvements to make streets and public transport more accessible to all. (PDO, CS)
  • Accessible walkable neighbourhoods (“20 minute neighbourhoods”) – Partnering with service providers, including offering more services through Council service points and supporting innovation in local supply chain management to improve the quality of local retail services, to make more services available within walking distance of where people live. (EO, CS)
  • Local transport hubs – Each community should have anchor locations where local people can guarantee connections with the strategic transport system. Local hubs could include services needed by the local community such as collection and distribution points for parcels to enable couriers to save emissions on the last mile of deliveries, shared cycles for short term hire, car club vehicles, and internachge with high frequency public transport services. (EO)
  • Safe routes to school – Travel plans prepared by the pupils, parents and staff at every school showing the changes needed to ensure safe zero-emission access to schools. (EO, CS)
  • Safe routes to rail stations – Integrated connections from rail stations to the communities they serve including links with transport hub services. (EO)
  • Plan access to employment – Travel plans for employers to enable equitable zero-emission access for all employees. (CS, EO)

The Scottish Government Climate Change Plans seek to reduce the distance travelled by car by 20% by 2030 and have published plans to show how they expect to achieve this. The new national agenda will affect some Council areas more than others and it is not expected that the proposed new national plans will reduce travel in West Dunbartonshire by as much as 20%. This means that West Dunbartonshire Council must achieve its net-zero aims through programmes designed locally that make the most of local opportunities.

Overall around a third of the total emissions reduction needed to achieve net-zero (i.e. just under 50,000 tonnes of the total 147,000 tonnes CO2 reduction needed per year) should be achievable by implementing these actions for travelling less.  

Zero-Emission transport

Most transport currently relies on fossil fuels for its power, but there are plans in place to replace the power source with a zero emission option, such as renewably generated electricity or green hydrogen. The Council has a critical role to play in these global changes to transport, including managing the transition fairly for all local residents and businesses.

To manage the change the action plan includes:

  • Management of transport infrastructure and assets for planned net-zero – The carbon account for all roads, car parks, street lighting and other transport infrastructure needs to be refreshed and reported. Statutory function (PDO)
  • Facilities for public electric vehicles including charging – Providing and enabling rapidly growing provision of fairly priced EV charging. Statutory function (PDO, EO).
  • Facilities for Council electric vehicles including charging – Providing and enabling sufficient provision for growing Council EV fleet using best value approach. Statutory function (CS)
  • Replacing the Council vehicle fleet with electric vehicles – Phase out petrol/diesel vehicle purchase as soon as possible and well before the legal deadline of 2025 and replace all fleet vehicles with electric vehicles by 2030. Statutory function (CS)
  • Expand provision of shared electric vehicles in car clubs – Current small scale peer to peer car clubs need to be complemented with wider provision of shared vehicles to make EV use accessible to all. Statutory function (CS, EO)
  • Designate low emission zones – Encourage take up of EVs through targeted local low emission zones. Statutory function (PDO)
  • Bus service improvement partnerships (BSIPs) – Align Council transport goals with bus operation, building on the initial progress made through the Greater Glasgow (BSIP), to ensure agreed terms of operation for all bus services, including zero emission vehicles. (PDO)
  • Incentives for zero emission vehicles in taxi and private hire licensing – Introduce a tariff that will facilitate a transition to sero-emisison vehicles Statutory function (PDO)

At least a half of the total emissions reduction should be achievable by using net-zero transport (i.e. around 75,000 tonnes of the total 147,000 tonnes CO2 reduction needed per year) but space for vehicles is limited and other approaches are also needed to achieve net-zero travel.

Active Travel

The proportion of trips made by active travel has substantial growth potential to match levels achieved in other similar areas. For local journeys like travel to school, shops, GPs and other local services, walking can be the dominant travel choice, and active travel can also be highly competitive for slightly longer trips of up to five miles using a bike. Wheelchairs, skateboards, scooters, and other similar wheeled options are leading to an expanding and increasingly sophisticated range of active travel options which are being prioritised in national investment.

Scottish Government Priorities (source Scottish Government)

To manage the change the action plan includes:

  • A system for managing performance on paths similar to performance management on roads and railways – If a wheelchair user, or other less mobile person cannot get along a path in West Dunbartonshire they currently often default to using a car. A new system will ensure that door to door journeys are convenient and accessible using high quality paths. (PDO) 
  • Development of a comprehensive and connected high quality path network – Safe routes between homes and local facilities (PDO)
  • Connected cycle networks for longer distance trips – A comprehensive network of largely off road routes connecting every community to enable attractive cycling and other emerging micro-mobility travel options including e-scooters. Statutory function (PDO)
  • Low traffic neighbourhoods – Designate school streets, play streets and home zones where pedestrians have priority and vehicles are permitted only travelling at low speeds and for local access. (PDO)
  • Certification schemes for sustainable travel – Expand the number of local destinations that offer benefits for people who travel actively. Statutory function (PDO, EO)
  • Active travel support services – As active travel grows it will need a growing community of people able to support training, hire, sales and other services. Statutory function (EO)
  • Improve road safety for active travellers – Many of the most serious road accidents are to active travellers so an effective programme is needed to reduce danger for active travellers. This should update the Council’s road safety plan to make it consistent with the new national road safety strategy adopting a systems based approach to safety. (PDO)

Overall, up to a sixth of the total emissions reduction needed (i.e. up to 20,000 tonnes of the total 147,000 tonnes CO2 reduction needed per year) should be achievable by implementing these actions.