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Transport Matters$
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Iain Docherty and Jon Shaw

Print publication date: 2019

Print ISBN-13: 9781447329558

Published to Policy Press Scholarship Online: May 2020

DOI: 10.1332/policypress/9781447329558.001.0001

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Remote, rural and island communities

Remote, rural and island communities

(p.279) 12 Remote, rural and island communities
Transport Matters

David Gray

Policy Press

This chapter examines transport in the remote rural and island areas, with a particular focus on the Highlands and Islands of Scotland. I explore 50 years of failure to address the rural transport problem, highlighting how population distribution and destination competition have conspired with funding issues and car use to thwart efforts to arrest the decline in rural bus use. In the second part of the chapter I discuss car dependence, how it varies across different types of rural locality and the importance of someone else’s car in maintaining rural access and mobility. Part three examines the impact of rising fuel costs in rural areas, but argues that large scale investment in roads and bridges have had a much more significant long-term impact on people’s travel habits, changing the way that life is lived in the region. I conclude with some reflection on the game-changing potential of technological innovation such as AVs for remote and rural areas.

Keywords:   Rural, Remote, Island, Car dependence, Fuel prices, Social capital

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