The National Park Visitor Survey runs every five years, fieldwork is currently underway and due to report in autumn 2020, so this indicator will report in 2021. The Visitor Survey is a year-long, National Park-wide survey to gather visitor profile and behaviour information, visitor feedback and trends from a sample of 2,400.
Whilst we await that report, information on some proxy measures can be considered. These aren’t comparable to the depth and rigour of the information we get from the Survey, but they do give a sense of the year’s activity. The following proxies are reported for 2018-19:
Roll over the icons on the map to read more about each location.
These findings are limited, but even without a full report it seems highly likely that 2018-19 is still seeing strong car-dependency, in both travel to and around the National Park. It is of course promising to see the findings in cyclists, pedestrians and train travel, but without further information it cannot be inferred that these increases are in turn replacing car trips, they could be due to an increase in trips of all types or reflective of different kinds of journeys. It is interesting to note that the recent baseline report against the National Outcomes reported differences in satisfaction with public transport in Scotland’s remote and rural areas, with 79% satisfaction in large urban areas as compared to 48% in accessible rural areas.
We see this as a call to action, especially in light of the climate emergency. How do we both decarbonise and enhance transport provision in traditionally car-dependant rural areas? This is a challenge and an opportunity and will require strong partnership working across the National Park, and it will be part of the new strategic plan for outdoor recreation (including active travel) currently in development.
Progress on this indicator contributes to the following National Outcomes:
Progress on this indicator contributes to the following Sustainable Development Goals: