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Just transition

Less advantaged areas have a greater reliance on transport modes other than private vehicles. A just transition for Scotland therefore means charging infrastructure developments must complement public transport modes and community amenities.

Whilst the price of new electric vehicles is falling and the second-hand electric vehicle market is growing, these vehicles are still financially out of reach for many people. This creates a challenge for transport planners; balancing the need for infrastructure to enable these areas to make the transition to electric, with the reality that this transition may be much slower and more difficult than in more affluent areas.

To meet this challenge, mobility hubs should be designed to ensure current travel needs can be met affordably and conveniently. They should include the same facilities designed to encourage the switch to more active travel modes as in other areas. Whilst the demand for electric vehicle charging infrastructure may not yet be at the levels seen elsewhere, the initial hub build can include enabling works to allow for future expansion. As electric vehicle usership increases, the existing provision can then be quickly and easily scaled up to match it. The powering your chargepoints section provides advice on engaging with the DNO to ensure that future expansion or upgrades to chargepoint sites are considered during the planning stage.

Rural areas

The sparser population in rural areas can make it more challenging to establish well used mobility hubs. Larger volumes of traffic help to make hubs more sustainable. People in rural areas tend to rely on private vehicles. With fewer people using public transport services, there is a risk of them becoming underfunded and under resourced. In some areas, falling passenger numbers can lead bus operators to scale back services to remain cost effective. This can create a vicious cycle as diminishing public transport services encourages more people to switch to private vehicles.

The availability and quality of alternative transport modes, and interconnecting hubs, therefore, needs to improve in rural areas to decrease people’s dependence on private vehicles.

Homes in rural areas are more likely to have off street parking where private chargepoints can be installed. This means there is likely to be less demand for public electric vehicle charging infrastructure at rural transport hubs. The exception to this may be hubs located in popular tourist destinations.


Scotland’s islands face many of the same challenges in integrating different transport modes as discussed in the rest of this section.

As many of Scotland’s islands are popular tourist destinations, their visitor numbers vary widely between the summer and the winter. This can put strain on infrastructure during peak times in the season.

As they are largely rural in nature, islands see the same dominance of private vehicle travel as in mainland rural areas. On the larger islands, transport modes are generally the same as on the Scottish mainland, although none of them are connected to the rail network.

There are fewer transport services available on some of the smaller islands. This is because not all have sufficiently large populations to support services such as an airport, a public bus service, taxi operations, or car clubs. Where there is public transport on these islands it is often provided by community transport operators.

All of Scotland’s inhabited islands have ferry services to provide connections between them and with the Scottish mainland. These ferry terminals often provide opportunities for linkage with other transport modes. Buses can be scheduled to coincide with arrival and departure times. Likewise, taxi operators will align their operations with the ferry schedule to maximise pick-ups and drop-offs.

However, some ferry terminals are in very remote locations. Transport hub provision in these places can be very basic or non-existent. This will tend to further push people towards reliance on private vehicles.

Scotland’s islands are also often subject to strong winds, and many transport hubs are located close to the sea. These conditions create a particularly pressing need for good quality shelters at island transport hubs. These shelters are essential to protect both hub users, and the charging infrastructure itself, from the elements.