Accessible to all, by public transport

A lot of national parks, nature reserves or estates are not accessible to people of all abilities - and most are only accessible by car. It’s crucial this new park is both accessible to people with reduced mobility and should feature facilities and/or experiences for visitors with conditions which might exclude them from other visitor attractions (I.e. autism and other mental health conditions). Secondly, this new park really has got to be easily accessible by public transport such as train and bus. Whilst there certainly is an argument to address a certain ‘central-belt bias’ in all sorts of policy areas, this should be balanced with ensuring the largest possible amount of population have quick and convenient access to this new national park.

Why the contribution is important

Currently a lot of national parks, reserves and estates or mostly frequented by middle-class who nearly all travel by car. This is an opportunity to create a world-class park which is established with the specific aim in mind of bringing those less privileged in more often and meaningful contact with nature.

by Dirk on May 17, 2022 at 04:50PM

Current Rating

Average rating: 4.5
Based on: 15 votes

Comments

  • Posted by SJM14 May 19, 2022 at 12:59

    Access for all should be a key performance indicator and transport links must be affordable and environmentally friendly. Car access requires to be managed but not pushed out into residential areas - proper park and ride arrangements required . Free transport should be available to those unable to pay.
  • Posted by SueDalton May 21, 2022 at 11:48

    I believe that due to the climate emergency and catastrophic loss of biodiversity national parks should be managed to optimise the benefits to these issues. Accessibility to all sadly must be down the list of priorities. Otherwise they end up areas featured by car parks, toilets and roads. That is not what the planet needs to survive.
  • Posted by JanetMoxley May 24, 2022 at 12:53

    Public transport needs to give much better consideration to city dwellers who want to visit the countryside. At present public transport is focussed on 9 - 5 Mon - Fri with maybe a bit on Saturdays. Sunday and evening services in rural Scotland are barely usable, so how are people from the cities supposed to get here at weekends? If public transport reviews asked city dwellers about their need to access rural areas rather than assuming that the only travel is from rural areas to the cities this would show much higher demand for rural public transport at weekends and on summer evenings than is currently the case. SPT is a particularly woeful transport authority in this respect as it can't see beyond Glasgow city centre. A few years ago they were asked to send a representative to a public meeting in Clydesdale and initially declined because they couldn't get there by public transport. Which rather made the point!
  • Posted by marzak May 24, 2022 at 13:56

    Accessibility using modern public transport combined with carriage of self-propelled bikes/e-bikes/walking or chairs is key. The train network is sadly lacking in length, breadth and station stops but this would be an opportunity to re-instate and upgrade so benefitting the current residents, attracting new and facilitating the economic and well-being benefits of a new national park or more than one. All buses should be able to take bikes etc... Everywhere should have places to stay or shelter - mobile bothies/bunk buses - public transport can provide a lot more than a seat and an engine. Toileting seems to be one of the big problems experienced in the existing national parks - this could be provided in conjunction with existing buildings - outhouse toilets on farms for a small fee; or there could be tow-away or drive-away facilities delivered and removed behind or within public transport vehicles as mobile/roving/exchanging cassette type toilets, and emptied away from the main walks. The point is - in the high season, clean, modern, regular public transport can do a lot more than take someone from A to B!
  • Posted by Morphaniel May 25, 2022 at 13:55

    Public transport must be delivered hand in hand with National Park designation. The English Lake District experience should not be allowed to repeat itself anywhere in Scotland and a reliable, affordable and regular (preferably also electric, so far as buses are concerned) public transport strategy must support any designation. Rail and water transport should also be part of the mix with Scotlands historic railway map carefully restored in areas where it can be supported and there is existing action groups (for instance the historic route from Dumfries to Stranraer). Where applicable water transport also needs significantly more attention and support.
  • Posted by puppet May 25, 2022 at 21:27

    Most of the Galloway National Park served from small towns so cars will be essential which will be much greener in future. There are no trains in Galloway and never likely to be as the original route was miles from most centres of population. Buses are currently poorly used and could have capacity to fulfil other roles as described above.
  • Posted by malcolmrdickson May 28, 2022 at 13:48

    The Scottish Borders is surrounded by urban populations which could benefit from easy access, even moreso if the Borders railway was extended to Carlisle. Presently there are 4 airports within 90 minutes road travel, two rail stations on our doorstep (Tweedbank and Berwick-upon-Tweed), and bus services linking to the urban areas, all providing scenic journeys within and even outwith our favoured area for a National Park (ie based on, but not limited to, the former county of Roxburghshire).
  • Posted by niallmacleod June 01, 2022 at 06:33

    I agree with the above comment by "Dirk" as part of my work as a farmer and land owner I frequently come into contact with the public on my land or on the land of estates I visit. The type profile above is correct and consequently visitors use their vehicles, the challenges of making it an attractive option for the under privilege occupants of our cities to catch a train to Glen Coe or to Loch Awe for example for a weekend of "country side experiences" is much more challenging ( train services are slow and cramped ) than jumping into 7 seat SUV with some friends! As Marzah above comments overnight accommodation, the proper provision of maintained toilets and some sort of ranger presence is very much essential.
  • Posted by LauraBennitt June 04, 2022 at 07:20

    Public transport around all areas of countryside - not just a new NP - is critical. As pointed out by Janet Moxley, it is currently hugely challenging for anyone to access rural areas at weekends and in the evenings. We live just outside Oban, about 1 hour away by road from Loch Lomond National Park, but if we wanted to go there for a day on a weekend the only way to access it and not spend more time travelling than enjoying the park is to drive (especially now our already extremely slow train service has been reduced). This would also help support those who live in or near an area designated a NP, who otherwise risk just finding that the areas on their doorstep are flooded with cars, making their own essential journeys slower and more challenging.
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