Number of cars in Scotland reaches record high

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The release of official figures revealing there are now more motorists using Scotland's roads than ever before has prompted environmental campaigners to call on the Scottish Government to introduce measures aimed at cutting car use.

According to the RAC, among the campaigners' calls are the introduction of congestion charges, 20mph zones and investment in cycling and walking.

The data revealed a record 2.8 million licensed vehicles in Scotland in 2014.

The number of new vehicle registrations and the amount of kilometres clocked up by vehicles both saw an increase from 2013, with 262,000 registrations, up 9%, and 45 billion kilometres, up 2%.

Discussing the figures, Friends of the Earth Scotland's Emilia Hanna said Scotland is "motoring towards more air pollution and climate change."

Hanna is calling on the Scottish Government to follow Edinburgh's example of investing more money in cycling. She wants 10% of the transport budget to be spent on cycling and walking by 2020.

Hanna would also like to see the next government introduce congestion charging and 20mph speed limit zones to deter car use.

According to transport minister Derek Mackay, the new car registration growth highlights Scotland's economic recovery.

Mackay also said the government will encourage more use of public transport and cycling and walking through its commitment to cut congestion and emissions.

He added that more than £1bn per year is being spent on initiatives aimed at encouraging people to leave their cars at home.

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