Supporting sustainable transport to museums
Visitor travel can often be a large source of emissions attributed to a museum, especially in Scotland as many museums are in rural parts of the country and so most visitors will travel there by car. This can provide a challenge for a museum looking to reduce emissions but still maintain visitor levels. This page highlights some of the groups and schemes available to museums to help overcome this challenge.
Good Journey is a platform which champions car-free leisure travel and features over 200 culture, leisure, and nature attractions that the public can reach without a car. The non-profit company launched in 2018 as part of a coalition of transport and conservation organisations.
Registering with Good Journey adds your organisation to their data base, which provides visitors with information and route planning on how to get there without a car, sometimes with discounted entry prices for arriving car free.
Visitor transportation emissions are a stubborn emission source to bring down for some Scottish museums due to the rurality and lack of public transport. If a museum is committed to a sustainability goal such as net zero, or simply to being as sustainable/low emissions as possible, then this can prove a hurdle. While an organisation such as Good Journey will not negate the rurality/infrastructure issue, it may be able to provide advice to your organisation and to potential visitors who may not have previously considered visiting.
Good Journey state 5 main reasons to join the scheme:
- Potential to attract new visitors
- Cut your carbon footprint
- Increase income- car-free visitors spend around 20% more
- Reduce car-park congestion
- Meet your sustainability goals
The direct benefits Good Journey offer as part of membership include:
- Easy directions for car-free visitors
- Door to door journey planner
- Display the Good Journey Mark
- Health-check of your travel information
- Help to increase car-free visitors
- Promotion in their marketing
- Expert advice on green travel
Subscription to this scheme is charged depending on the number of visitors your organisation attracts annually and is charged annually.
Further information can be found at Good Journey – car-free days out
Sustrans are a UK wide charity which aims to make it easier for people to walk, cycle, and move away from fossil fuel powered vehicles. Sustrans Scotland provides advice, support, and funding that aims to make it easier to and improve accessibility of walking and cycling for everyday journeys in Scotland.
They work with both organisations and communities to support and help to deliver projects such as, developing active travel (walking and cycling) infrastructure, starting cycling or walking groups, training, place-based projects, education, and protecting nature.
Within Scotland, their work has focused on:
- Place based funding
- The National Cycle Network in Scotland
- Policy engagement
- Street Design
- School transport
- Active workplaces
- Partnership working
- Active communities
The Communities Team in Scotland supports locally based community groups and organisations, which would be suitable for museums, to develop and run programmes encouraging people to walk or cycle more.
Further information can be found at: Our work in Scotland – Sustrans
Highlight public transport options
One simple thing a museum can do is to host public transport information on their website with routes and timetables so visitors can plan their trip by public transport.
An example of public transport information includes the “Getting Here” section on the Cateran Ecomuseum website. This page hosts links to the Scotrail, Stagecoach, and Ember bus timetable. Then there are directions on how to visit the museum from nearby towns, villages and cities by active travel and public transport. This allows visitors to make the choice for themselves with up to date and accurate information, instead of automatically being given directions for car travel. Whilst these options will not be suitable for all museums or all visitors, it will be useful for some and can help to reduce your museum’s carbon footprint.
Scottish Association for Public Transport
This Scottish Association for Public Transport are an organisation campaigning for an efficient, sustainable, and coordinated public transport. They advocate and work with transport authorities and government to improve public transport in Scotland, including trains, buses, trams, and ferries. Their areas of focus include:
- An efficient world-class transport system for Scotland
- Sustainable public transport for rural and urban communities
- City streets free from road traffic pollution and congestion
- Co-ordinated train, bus, and ferry services
- High Speed Rail for Scottish InterCity and Anglo-Scottish routes
This group may be useful if you want to become more involved in creating better and more sustainable public transport in Scotland. Membership to this group grants access to:
- A quarterly newsletter “Scottish Transport Matters”
- Invitations to events and the AGM
Further information can be found at: Scottish Association for Public Transport – Campaigning for an efficient, sustainable and coordinated public transport