The National Transport Strategy (NTS) sets the long term vision for our transport policies. It was first published in 2006 after the Scottish Government consulted the public, interested individuals and a wide range of organisations on their views for the future of transport in Scotland.

Review of the National Transport Strategy

The National Transport Strategy (NTS) was refreshed in 2016 and this exercise recommended a fuller, collaborative review of the NTS in the next Scottish Parliamentary term. The Minister for Transport and the Islands, Humza Yousaf MSP, subsequently announced a full review of the NTS on August 2016. 

The review of the NTS will set out an updated vision for what kind of transport system we want for the whole of Scotland over the next 20 years or so and how we plan to get there. It will look at how we can successfully address the strategic challenges facing our transport system and how we can take advantage of any opportunities that present themselves.  It will also inform the review of the Strategic Transport Project Review (STPR2) by providing a clearly defined set of strategic transport objectives.

Transport Scotland is committed to delivering a collaborative review of the NTS, by giving stakeholders and communities across Scotland a greater say in influencing the development of transport policy at a local, regional and national level. This collaborative approach will extend to the NTS Review’s working groups, where Transport Scotland officials and our partners will work together to address the key challenges and topics. 

We are committed to aligning NTS2 with the emerging policy and legislative landscape in Scotland including the outcomes from the independent planning review, Climate Change Plan, local government review, Enterprise and Skills review, City and Region Growth Deals and the Transport Bill.

In December 2016, we published an online survey to gather your early views on what should be the key themes considered by the NTS Review. The survey has now closed and we would like to thank all those individuals and organisations that took the time to respond. We will now analyse those responses and use the results of this analysis to help shape the next stages of the NTS Review.

In addition, the NTS Review Research and Evidence Working Group has issued a ‘Call for Evidence’. This call is to gather research evidence on several key topic areas to inform the review and also to highlight where there are gaps, conflicts and uncertainties in the existing evidence base. You can find out more and participate by downloading the Call for Evidence publication. The Call for Evidence will remain open for responses until 14 July 2017.

We plan to build on these early activities with a wider programme of in-depth engagement as we review the NTS, including stakeholder events and online/digital channels, culminating with a formal public consultation.

If you wish to submit any thoughts in the meantime you can contact the NTS Review Team at: NTSreview@transport.gov.scot

Why do we need a National Transport Strategy?

Under Scotland's Economic Strategy, the Scottish Government's overall purpose is to increase sustainable economic growth. A safe, efficient, effective and sustainable transport system, for both passengers and freight, remains one of the key enablers of such sustainable economic growth. It supports businesses in achieving their local, national and international objectives and improves the lives of individuals and communities by connecting them with their economic future.

The current National Transport Strategy provides the framework for enhancing our transport system, in response to the main transport challenges that Scotland faces, which in turn contributes to improvement in our economic, environmental and social performance. In particular, the three Key Strategic Outcomes continue to be used as the guiding principles at national, regional and local level when developing strategy and prioritising resources.

What does the National Transport Strategy do?

The 2006 NTS introduced three key strategic outcomes, which are :

  • Improved journey times and connections between our cities and towns and our global markets to tackle congestion and lack of integration and connections in transport
  • Reduced emissions to tackle climate change, air quality, health improvement
  • Improved quality, accessibility and affordability of transport, to give choice of public transport, better quality services and value for money, or alternative to car

These outcomes feed directly into the five Strategic Objectives, providing a basis on which to develop policies, decide how to invest resources to maximum effect, and measure the effect of our work.
Links to the refreshed NTS and its supporting documents can be found below:

Delivery plan

The NTS Delivery Plan is a working document that sets out all of the planned actions we are taking within the context of the National Performance Framework to support the Purpose of the Scottish Government.
The Delivery Plan is periodically updated to reflect significant developments and track progress against planned actions towards delivering transport-related National Outcomes and meeting the objectives of the National Transport Strategy.

A full version of the latest NTS Delivery Plan is available. A table of Delivery Against 2006 NTS Commitments has been published alongside the “refreshed” NTS.

Carbon Account for Transport (CAT)

The Carbon Account for Transport meets a commitment contained in the published National Transport Strategy.

It helps us to take decisions and develop actions to meet the targets in the Climate Change (Scotland) Act 2009, by providing a structure for monitoring and reviewing our progress towards achieving the 'reduced emissions' Strategic Outcome for transport.

It does this by presenting, in one place, assessments of all Scottish Government transport policies and projects that are expected to have significant positive or negative impacts on overall carbon emissions. A full version of the Carbon Account for Transport is available.