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Scotland's National Strategy: Summary


Transport Scotland's NationalStrategy - Summary

Where we are now

We are travelling more than we have done in the past. Our growing economy and changing society have led to changes in the journeys we make and the way in which we make them. We are travelling more by car in comparison with other modes. This increased reliance in cars is mirrored by a reduction in other forms of transport such as walking and cycling. We are travelling more by plane; one of the most significant changes in transport in recent years has been a dramatic growth in air travel.

These trends are expected to continue. Latest forecasts suggest total road traffic will grow by around 12% between 2005 and 2010 and by 22% between 2005 and 2015 and air travel is predicted to rise by 150% between 2004 and 2030.

The Key Challenges

An efficient transport system is essential to our economy, communities, environment, health and general well being. Transport is important to us all - it gets us to our place of work and to our schools. It allows us to access shops and services, to visit friends and family, for tourists to visit us and for us to enjoy leisure activities.

There are a number of challenges facing transport in Scotland. We need to provide an efficient, integrated and reliable transport network that successfully promotes economic growth, protection of the environment, health and social inclusion. We need to reduce journey times, tackle congestion, provide attractive alternatives to the private car and improve connections and accessibility, at the same time as reducing the impact of transport on the environment. We need a public transport system which is attractive, efficient and affordable with proper integration and through ticketing.

Strategic Outcomes

The Scottish Executive's National Transport Strategy ( NTS) sets out how these challenges will be addressed through three strategic outcomes which will set the context for transport policy making for the next 20 years. They should become the guiding principles at national, regional and local level when developing strategy and prioritising resources:

Improve journey times and connections, to tackle congestion and the lack of integration and connections in transport which impact on our high level objectives for economic growth, social inclusion, integration and safety.

To deliver this outcome our commitments include:

Taking forward the Strategic Transport Projects Review based on the key strategic outcomes for the NTS to enhance Scotland's strategic transport network.
Working with the UK Government to investigate the potential value of high speed rail links to London and on to Europe to enhance connections with our global networks.
Continuing to work with the UK Government on proposals for a UK based road pricing scheme to manage demand on the network.
Investing £10m in the next two years to tackle congestion from the School Run.
Delivering the current capital investment programme of improvement to both trunk road and rail networks to improve connections.
Publishing Scotland's Railways and Freight Action Plan

Reduce emissions, to tackle the issues of climate change, air quality and health improvement which impact on our high level objective for protecting the environment and improving health.

To deliver this outcome our commitments include:

Working with the UK Government to deliver the biofuels target by 2010 and beyond.
Promoting SMART measures on all journeys, focusing especially on the commute to work through developing travel awareness and marketing campaigns.
Exploring with key partners sustainable travel demonstration towns across Scotland to reduce car use and promote cycling and walking.
Undertaking a Scottish specific appraisal of the potential carbon savings of stricter adherence to national speed limits on trunk roads and motorways.
Promoting and encouraging new vehicle technologies.
Supporting sustainable distribution strategies through the Scottish Road Haulage Modernisation Fund.

Improve quality, accessibility and affordability, to give people a choice of public transport, where availability means better quality transport services, value for money and a realistic alternative to the car.

To deliver this outcome our commitments include:

Introducing a national concessionary travel scheme for young people.
Undertaking a review of ferry services with a view to developing a long-term strategy for lifeline services to 2025.
Reviewing the affordability of public transport in relation to ferry, rail and bus services.
Amending the legislation on Bus Services Operators grant ( BSOG) to allow claims to be made in respect of fully flexible services.
Publishing our Bus Action Plan to help achieve a step change in the quality of bus service provision.
Introducing integrated ticketing pilots to enhance the passenger journey.

Implementation and Review

Regional transport partnerships, local authorities and transport operators will be key partners in delivering these strategic outcomes. We can change transport in Scotland for the better by working together to deliver national, regional and local strategies that integrate with each other.

As part of the NTS, three other policy documents will be published - Scotland's Railways, Bus Action Plan and Freight Action Plan - these will provide more detail on the policies and actions to be undertaken to address issues specific to their respective areas.

A considerable amount of evidence and analysis has been drawn upon in developing the NTS. To measure progress against our strategic outcomes a range of indicators will be developed and we will introduce a 'carbon balance sheet' for transport which will present the impact of all Scottish transport policies and projects that are expected to have a significant impact on carbon, whether positive or negative.

Mechanisms to monitor and review progress of the strategy will be implemented. The strategy will be reviewed every 4 years. As well as reviewing progress, this will include consideration of whether the strategy should be amended, as Scottish Ministers' priorities, understanding of transport issues, available resources and other circumstances may have changed significantly in 4 years. Future analytical work will contribute to reviews of the NTS.

Further Information

Further information on the NTS can be obtained from the following website: http://www.scotland.gov.uk/Topics/Transport/NTS/introduction

A full copy of the strategy can be accessed via the publications page of: www.scotland.gov.uk

Any further queries relating to the NTS should be directed to:

Transport Strategy Division
Strategy and Policy Team

Area 2D (Dockside)
Victoria Quay


This document is also available on the Scottish Executive website: www.scotland.gov.uk