We're undertaking a study of how South West Scotland is served by the strategic transport network. The focus of the study is on how the transport network connects Dumfries and Galloway and southern Ayrshire to the key markets of Glasgow, Edinburgh, Carlisle and includes access to the Ports at Cairnryan. It will identify where the network works well, look at issues and seek suggestions for improvement. This study will build on the recent transport investment in the area and will consider the future transport needs of South West Scotland and cross border connections.
The commitment to undertake this work was made in the Scottish Government’s 2017-18 Programme for Government.
Approach to the study
South West Scotland Transport Study - Initial Appraisal: Case for Change – Draft Report
This study has been a successful example of collaborative working between national, regional and local transport authorities, undertaken by AECOM and Peter Brett Associates on behalf of Transport Scotland and project partners Dumfries and Galloway Council, East Ayrshire Council, South Ayrshire Council, SWEStran (the Regional Transport Partnership) and SPT (Strathclyde Partnership for Transport).
The work has benefitted from extensive stakeholder engagement - the project partners are grateful for the input and insight provided through a range of engagement activities including workshops, interviews, and a public online survey.
Outcomes from all of these have been combined with data and evidence gathered on the transport network in the area, and are reflected in the report.
Anyone with an interest in transport in the south west is encouraged to provide their views and comments over the period for feedback following the report being published. You can do this through the on-line survey – due to the on-going high level of interest we have extended this by four weeks - it’s now open until Friday 20 September.
Scope of project
In line with Scottish Transport Appraisal Guidance (STAG), this Initial Appraisal Study comprises three components:
- It is a transport study that makes an assessment of the problems and opportunities of the transport system;
- It will then set transport planning objectives that reflect the problems and opportunities and expresses the outcomes sought for improvements in the area; and
- It will generate transport options which could achieve those objectives
The work will focus on national and regional level problems and opportunities on the network across all modes and forms an important part of the strategic case for any emerging project.
Rationale, project team and timescales
The initial appraisal and analysis work is expected to be completed in winter 2018/19 with recommendations becoming available in early 2019. These will be considered in the forthcoming Strategic Transport Projects Review (STPR2), which will examine transport investment priorities at the national level for the next 20 years. This initial appraisal work will ensure the needs and priorities of the South West are clearly identified and inform STPR2.
Engagement and consultation
We committed to working collaboratively on this study with local stakeholders and all of those with an interest in the future of transport in the South West. As part of the approach, an online survey was undertaken which received around 3,000 responses. This was publicised on the Transport Scotland, Dumfries and Galloway Council, East Ayrshire Council, South Ayrshire Council, SWEStran and SPT websites.
The survey was open for eight weeks between 19 September and 16 November 2018. A paper based alternative to this was made available in local community buildings.
In parallel the online Placecheck tool involving an interactive map was provided - this enabled the public and interested stakeholders to record specific comments on transport issues, opportunities or proposed improvement options in the study area and tie these to a particular location. Over 300 responses were received via this tool and it was viewed as a valuable addition to the engagement process.
To ensure maximum opportunity for the views of local residents to be taken into account feedback was also sought from Community Councils in the study area via email.
A series of stakeholder workshops were also held in October and November in Stranraer, Dumfries and Maybole. Attendees included local authorities, transport operators, business organisations and local interest groups.
Structured telephone interviews were also undertaken with key stakeholders to discuss issues in more detail.
Additionally, Elected Members briefings were held in November (Dumfries) and December (Ayr) – these were attended by MPs, MSPs and Local Members representing the study area, and provided the opportunity to update them on progress and seek views on emerging findings.