People are being urged to embrace “greener” ways of travelling as lockdown eases and roads become busier.
Cities and surrounding areas are expected to welcome back hundreds of thousands of commuters, visitors and shoppers over the coming weeks as part of phase three of the Scottish Government’s route map out of lockdown.
Private vehicle road traffic is forecast to rise to between 85% and 90% of pre-Covid-19 levels in phase three, up from 65% in phase two.
The number of people cycling has increased during lockdown and people are being urged to try to stay local and use “cleaner and greener” methods of travel when they can.
Transport Secretary Michael Matheson said: “Phase three sees more parts of our society and economy reopening and will be one of the most challenging for the public, operators and employers.
“A combination of life slowly returning to some form of normality, the lifting of the five mile travel rule, the retail sector fully reopening, more people returning to work, and the tourism sector restart (July 15), means demand on public transport will be significant.
“However we know that even with public transport service levels increasing and physical distancing being relaxed to one metre for some services, capacity is still significantly restricted compared to pre-Covid levels.
“This means people are being asked to continue to work from home if they can, and walk, wheel and cycle where possible.
“The obvious temptation for households with access to a car will be to take that option, however we know many journeys are less than a few miles and could be covered via active travel, especially over the summer and autumn months.”
He said that transport operators are continuing to take steps to improve confidence in public transport, including measures such as enhanced cleaning measures, more sanitisers, mandatory face coverings and screens, and hopes that confidence in the sector will begin to return.