STPR2 strategic approach

The second Strategic Transport Projects Review (STPR2) will inform the Scottish Government’s transport investment programme over the next 20 years (2022-2042) and will help to deliver the vision, priorities and outcomes for transport set out in the National Transport Strategy (NTS2). It aligns with other national plans such as the Infrastructure Investment Plan, National Planning Framework (NPF4), Climate Change Plan and the National Strategy for Economic Transformation.

Our National Transport Strategy outlines four priorities for our transport system: that it reduces inequalities; takes climate action; helps deliver inclusive economic growth; and improves our health and wellbeing.

STPR2 is a Scotland-wide evidence-based review, which follows the Scottish Transport Appraisal Guidance (STAG), of the strategic transport network across all transport modes, including walking, wheeling, cycling, bus, rail and car, as well as reviewing wider island and rural connectivity.

It sets out how the recommended investments will contribute to Net Zero, Inclusive Growth and our vision for a sustainable, inclusive, safe and accessible transport system helping deliver a healthier, fairer and more prosperous Scotland for communities, businesses and visitors.

At the core of STPR2 is the Sustainable Investment Hierarchy. We aim first to reduce the need to travel unsustainably, make better use of and enhance existing infrastructure, before investing in new capacity. This hierarchy is also central to the Infrastructure Investment Plan.

The outcomes from STPR2 will:

  • help make Scotland more accessible for residents, visitors and businesses
  • create better connectivity with sustainable, smart and cleaner transport options
  • highlight the vital contribution that transport investment can play in enabling and sustaining Scotland’s economic growth.

A number of equality and environmental statutory impact assessments have been undertaken in parallel with STPR2 covering:

It has reported in two phases. Phase 1, published in February 2021 to align with the Capital Spending Review and Infrastructure Investment Plan, making recommendations on transport interventions for investment in the short term, as the world dealt with the COVID-19 pandemic and the Scottish Government plans for a green recovery. The recommendations will ‘lock in’ the sustainable travel choices observed over the preceding year and provide a step change in investment which supports the priorities and outcomes of NTS2. To complete the review, (draft) Final recommendations were published in the winter of 2021/2022 for formal public consultation, with the Final recommendations published on 8 December 2022.

Current Status

We have published the STPR2 Summary and Technical report, alongside the associated draft impact assessments reports on the 8 December 2022.

Feedback from the STPR2 (draft) Summary and Technical Report consultation was analysed and evaluated and a consultation report and analysis report have subsequently been published alongside the Final STPR2 Summary and Technical report.

STPR2 Process and Timeline

The second Strategic Transport Projects Review (STPR2) has been carried out in accordance with the Scottish Transport Appraisal Guidance (STAG).

The key phases outlined in STAG are:

  • Initial appraisal: case for change
  • Appraisal
  • Review and approvals
  • Consultation and final publication
  • Post appraisal: monitoring & evaluation

The following sections set out the different elements of STPR2 and the associated engagement that has fed into this process.

Stage 1a - Initial appraisal: Case for Change (completed February 2021)

Comprehensive engagement, policy review and data analysis has been undertaken to identify and consider transport related problems and opportunities. This informed production of the national and regional STPR2 Case for Change Reports. These reports set out the Transport Planning Objectives (TPOs) which guide development of interventions throughout the rest of the STPR2 process.

The generation of the ‘long list’ of options for STPR2 has also taken place within this Stage, informed by a range of sources and activities including:

  • Re-consider those recommendations of the first STPR, which have not been delivered nor form part of a programme for design development or delivery
  • A review of Growth Deals
  • A review of regional and national policies, studies and business cases
  • 20 Regional Stakeholder Option workshops across all STPR2 regions
  • A review of shortlisted options from the three Advanced Studies
  • National workshops - a series of mode and sector-specific workshops covering a range of issues at a national level
  • The online public engagement survey.

The sources of options above have been collated, reviewed and challenged by the STPR2 Consultant team and supplemented by a wider review of best practice within Scotland, the UK and further afield.

During this stage the collated options have been assessed against the Transport Planning Objectives with a number of these being sifted or scoped out from STPR2 although they may still be appropriate to be taken forward through regional and local strategies.

Information from this Option Sifting process has also fed into the Phase 1 work which focusses on interventions that can be delivered in the shorter term.

Eight draft STPR2 regional Case for Change reports and a national report were published on 27 February 2020. We invited feedback on the draft Case for Change reports in 2020, and all comments received have been reviewed and appropriate changes incorporated in revised Case for Change Reports, published in February 2021.

As part of the STPR2 project an interactive STPR2 story mapping feature has been created to help you review the latest information and data which has informed the Case for Change for each region:

View the story mapping feature on the STPR2 Project pages

Screenshot of the STPR2 Story Map

Option Sifting Update Reports for the Advanced Regions

Prior to the start of STPR2 three studies were undertaken which effectively formed the STPR2 Initial Appraisal: Case for Change for the areas they covered.

The following reports have been prepared to take account of the STPR2 objectives and methodology thereby bringing all STPR2 Regions to the same stage.

A draft of the revised option sifting was shared with the respective Regional Transport Working Groups for comment. The advanced studies together with the above Option Sifting Update Reports form the STPR2: Initial Appraisal Case for Change reports for these regions.

Given these reports relate to aligning previous studies with the STPR2 scope and methodology we are not seeking feedback on these.

Stage 1b – Phase 1 Recommendations (published February 2021)

The STPR2: Update and Phase 1 Recommendations Report provides transport projects recommendations which performed best against the following criteria during a high-level assessment:

Significantly contribute to the following STPR2 Objectives:

  • A sustainable strategic transport system that contributes significantly to the Scottish Government’s net-zero emissions target
  • An inclusive strategic transport system that improves the affordability and accessibility of public transport
  • A cohesive strategic transport system that enhances communities as places, supporting health and wellbeing
  • An integrated strategic transport system that contributes towards sustainable inclusive growth in Scotland
  • A reliable and resilient strategic transport system that is safe and secure for users
  • Align well with National Transport Strategy 2 priorities
  • Can be delivered or significantly progressed within the short term
  • Performed best against COVID-19 recovery priorities.

The following impact assessments have been progressed alongside and informed the Phase 1 recommendations. These are as follows:

  • STPR2 Update and Phase 1 Recommendations Strategic Environmental Assessment Report (SEA)
  • STPR2 Update and Phase 1 Recommendations Impact Assessment Progress Report (EqIA)

Phase 1 Recommendations

The Phase 1 recommendations consisted of interventions that were grouped into a number of themes.

STPR2 Phase 1 Themes, theme description and interventions – VIDEO


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Read video transcript for STPR2 themes video

There were no specific priorities, all were deemed important in the delivery of NTS2 and to recover from the pandemic. The publication of these interventions, or projects, confirmed the Scottish Government’s commitment to supporting and working in partnership with others to develop, deliver and address the impacts of the pandemic.

These recommendations consolidated transport investments made in Programme for Government, the Low Carbon Fund, Infrastructure Investment Plan and Capital Spending Review, providing a rationale for those investments, in addition to making the case for investment for some new projects and increasing investment in others.

The omission of any project from Phase 1 should not be taken as any indication of that project’s likelihood of being recommended for implementation by STPR2. Stakeholder engagement has informed the development of Phase 1 with earlier drafts being shared with Regional Transport Working Groups for comment. Further detail is outlined below in the Public and Stakeholder Engagement section.

An Appraisal Summary Table was prepared for each intervention. These describe the interventions and supporting rationale in more detail.

Stage 2 – Appraisal (Autumn 2021)

During this stage the sifted options were combined into packages and appraised against the Transport Planning Objectives, STAG criteria and deliverability. This includes feasibility, affordability and public acceptability. This appraisal stage is underpinned by the use of robust modelling and data analysis tools appropriate for the overall national review and the diverse regions.

A scenario-based approach was developed within this appraisal stage to help ensure that the future outcomes envisaged in NTS2 and other relevant policy commitments can be achieved. We developed a range of scenarios of how the future might look. These take into account the longer-term impacts of COVID-19 on travel demand.

Stage 3 -Review and Approvals (Autumn to winter 2021)

Drafts of the final STPR2 Reports, recommended proposed interventions and associated statutory impact assessments associated are published for consultation.

Stage 4 - Consultation and Final Publication

The final draft reports were published on 20 January 2022, providing stakeholders, and members of the public, with the opportunity to comment during a 12-week statutory consultation period which ran until 15 April 2022. The draft reports helped inform the final STPR2 reports that were published on 8 December 2022.

Stage 5 - Post Appraisal Monitoring and Evaluation

The STPR2 TPOs provide a basis for project appraisal, monitoring and ongoing evaluation to determine the contribution the investments have made to these objectives.

It should be noted that:

  • Timings may be adjusted to reflect the outputs from other relevant strategies due to be published during the STPR2 process
  • Transport interventions recommended will be subject to prioritisation and future spending reviews
  • Transport interventions not recommended by STPR2 may still be appropriate to be taken forward at regional and local levels.

Public and stakeholder engagement

Effective collaboration with stakeholders and the public is vital to STPR2. We have undertaken a considerable programme of engagement activities at a national and regional level throughout the STPR2 process. In March 2020 stakeholder engagement needed to be paused due to the COVID-19 pandemic with Transport Scotland resources being focussed on supporting Ministers’ response to the pandemic. We re-started stakeholder engagement in October 2020 as we delivered a phased approach to STPR2.

As part of Transport Scotland’s commitment to collaborative working, Regional Transport Working Groups (RTWGs) were established across Scotland with local authorities, National Park authorities and Regional Transport Partnerships (RTPs) to inform and guide the review in their respective areas. RTWGs featured representatives covering a variety of remits, including planning and economic development. The STPR2 RTWGs and the STPR2 regions they cover are:

  • Argyll & Bute RTWG – Argyll & Bute Region
  • Ayrshire & Arran RTWG - Ayrshire & Arran Region
  • Edinburgh & South East RTWG - Edinburgh & South East Region
  • Forth Valley RTWG – Forth Valley Region
  • Glasgow City Region RTWG - Glasgow City Region Region
  • Highlands and Islands RTWG - Highlands and Islands Region
  • North East RTWG – North East Region
  • Tay Cities RTWG - Tay Cities
  • Shetland Islands RTWG - Shetland Islands Region
  • South of Scotland RTWG – South West Scotland Region & Borders Region

The feedback received from stakeholders on the Phase 1 recommendations and national Case for Change options published in February 2021 were reviewed and helped to inform the recommendations and options taken forward for more detailed appraisal.

Stakeholder Engagement summary

The image below summarises in numbers the level of Stakeholder Engagement work that has been undertaken during the STPR2 Process. This includes:

  • Some 600 individual stakeholders engaged in 22 regional problems and opportunities workshops in the Summer of 2019, representing almost 300 organisations
  • Over 150 Regional Structured Interviews
  • 20 Regional Intervention workshops in October/November 2019
  • 10 national workshops in August/September 2019
  • 3 Business focussed engagement events in October 2019
  • Over 3,000 responses to national survey between 2 December 2019 and 10 January 2020.
  • 655 pupils involved in 30 engagement sessions to date with schools across Scotland.
  • Over 100 responses from the Case for Change Consultation, 50 Organisations and 50+ individuals.
  • 70 meetings with Regional Transport Working Groups which were a mix of face to face and online between 2019 - 2021
  • 1 Virtual STPR2 Information session for MSPs in February 2021
  • 1 Virtual Business focused Information session in March 2021
  • 10 National Environmental and Equalities workshops in March 2021
  • Comments forms published in February 2021 to capture feedback: 394 responses to Phase 1 and the National Case for Change chapter
  • Consultation on STPR2 published January 2022: 30 Consultation Information Sessions where held, 12 Stakeholders Information Sessions, 8 External Presentations and 10 RTWG Sessions.

STPR2 Engagement and consultation in numbers -a content fully explained in text above

STPR2 Phase 1 Themes - video transcript

Audio Visual
Strategic Transport Projects Review, Protecting our Climate and Improving Lives. STPR2 logo: Strategic Transport Projects Review, Protecting our Climate and Improving Lives.
The second Strategic Transport Projects Review (STPR2) will inform transport investment in Scotland for the next 20 years. As part of Phase 1, there are 8 themes. [captions]
[No audio] Graphic showing eight themes of STPR2 phase one.

Theme 1: Supporting smart and sustainable travel across Scotland.

National measures that will support active and sustainable travel choices and placemaking principles.

Icon showing a walker, a wheelchair user and a cyclist. [captions]

Theme 2: Creating smart and sustainable towns and villages.

Packages of sustainable transport improvements to enhance attractiveness and sustainability of our towns and villages.

Transport's contribution to placemaking principles in neighbourhoods.

Guidance and framework for delivering mobility hubs.

Icon showing a scene with a house and trees. [captions]

Theme 3: Improving accessibility in rural and peripheral areas and for vulnerable groups.

Improved public transport offering where fixed timetable services do not satisfactorily cover the needs of individuals, including consideration of demand responsive travel.

Investment in Demand Responsive Transport and Mobility as a Service.

Bus stop icon. [captions]

Theme 4: Transforming cities. Measures that will support active and sustainable travel alongside placemaking principles in Scotland's seven cities and neighbourhood centres.

Reallocation of road space for active travel.

Enhancing facilities at major rail stations (Rail Station Redevelopment).

Development of Glasgow Metro and Edinburgh Mass Transit strategies.

City scene icon featuring office blocks. [captions]

Theme 5: Enhancing public transport provision.

Range of measures to improve the accessibility and reliability of public transport and stimulate a sustainable recovery post COVID-19.

Reallocation of road space for buses.

Supporting integrated journeys at ferry terminals.

Infrastructure to provide access for all rail at stations.

Icons of oncoming bus and train. [captions]

Theme 6: Supporting transition to low-carbon transport.

Measures that will increase the development and further transition of Scotland's transport fleet to low carbon.

Investment in low carbon and alternative fuel transport systems.

Delivery of Rail Decarbonisation Programme (Phase 1).

Electric charge point icon. [captions]

Theme 7: Supporting a viable freight industry.

Measures to improve conditions for the freight and haulage industry to deliver a modal shift.

Strategy for improving rest and welfare facilities for hauliers.

Infrastructure to encourage rail freight.

Heavy goods vehicle icon. [captions]

Theme 8: Enhancing safety and resilience on the strategic transport network.

Package of measures on the strategic transport network focusing on improving safety and resilience.

Investment in the trunk road network asset.

Access to Argyll and Bute (A83).

Investment in ferries and ports Speed Management Plan.

Road and weather icon. [captions]
[No audio] STPR2 logo: Strategic Transport Projects Review, Protecting our Climate and Improving Lives.