Annual Review 2014

Travel Services Safety and Sustainability

Scotland’s transport system is amongst the best in Europe and 2014 offers a marvellous opportunity to showcase this. Our on-going investment in infrastructure and services is helping to offer a fully integrated transport system that allows people to travel the length and breadth of the country.

Smart ticket

Smart ticket (Courtesy of Network Rail)

Transport Scotland played a key role in supporting City of Edinburgh Council and its contractors to get the construction work on Edinburgh Trams finished ahead of the revised programme. Testing and commissioning is now underway and with trams now running into Princes Street, the capital will soon have a boost to Edinburgh’s economy with a modern transport system to be proud of.

A major area of work involves delivery of smart ticketing, with a long-term vision that “all journeys on Scotland’s bus, rail, ferry, subway and tram networks can be accessed using some form of smart ticketing or payment”. Built on developing the ticketing and back office infrastructure already in place, Transport Scotland established an ambitious programme of proof of concept smart ticketing projects spanning bus, rail and ferry, with partners from across local authorities, Regional Transport Partnerships (RTPs) and transport operators. Around 20 such projects are currently progressing in line with individual project plans.

Partick, Hillhead and Ibrox stations have been refurbished and smart ticketing introduced during the year, through the SPT’s Subway Modernisation programme, towards which we will contribute up to £246 million.

Road Safety Scotland (RSS) has invested substantially in education resources, notably this year in the new Early Years approach, as well as other education and publicity resources for use at exhibitions and events by staff and external partners. RSS, in collaboration with the Scottish Government Marketing team, launched a Parental Influence social marketing campaign in July 2013. This was a ground-breaking campaign targeting parents and other adults who drive with children in the car. The Country Roads campaign, fronted by David Coulthard, also re-ran in September/October.

A consultation on the Scottish Safety Camera Programme was launched in February 2013. This is part of a comprehensive review that will consider the outcomes and delivery of the Programme through the eight Safety Camera Partnerships across Scotland.

The multi-agency A9 Safety Group entered its second year since being set up in 2012. The main aim of the group is to explore measures to help reduce road casualties, both before and throughout the A9 dualling programme. As part of this work, the Minister for Transport and Veterans announced the Safety Group’s recommendation that an average speed camera system be delivered on the route, between Dunblane and Inverness. Average speed cameras have a proven track record of reducing casualties and excessive speed on routes where they have been deployed.

Parental Influence Road Safety Campaign

Parental Influence Road Safety Campaign

Traffic Scotland social media page

Traffic Scotland social media page

In addition, we announced in December 2013, plans for a 50 mph Heavy Goods Vehicle pilot speed limit to be introduced on the route.

We are also undertaking vegetation clearance, carriageway maintenance and new barrier work and promoting a campaign to support better overtaking behaviour.

These initiatives are just part of the many engineering, enforcement and education measures being introduced to improve the safety and operation ahead of dualling.

Traffic Scotland continues to evolve as a key source of traffic information about what is happening on the Scottish strategic road network and beyond. It is making full use of all the platforms available to today’s increasingly digitally-connected user, whether laptop, tablet or smartphone. It is focused on getting accurate, reliable and timely information to users whether at home or on the move, to keep them well-informed about their travel options.

The usage of the desktop and mobile website continues to grow apace; the joint Traveline Scotland/Traffic Scotland smartphone application now has circa 400,000 users and our Twitter Account has over 47,000 followers. The latter has proved particularly successful as a way of updating users in real time.

Traffic Scotland has focused on enriching content by embedding photographs, ‘audioboo’ sound files and re-tweeting other key travel updates. Its open, conversational tone for tweets and the redirection to other sources of information means users now actively alert us as to what they are seeing on the network. The instantaneity of the service is valuable for crisis communications, allowing Traffic Scotland Internet Radio Service and Twitter to process quick updates with input direct from the Multi Agency Resilience Team.

The service supports social events like T in the Park, or the many upcoming iconic Homecoming 2014 events like the Commonwealth Games, Ryder Cup and Bannockburn celebrations.

Switched on Scotland map

Switched on Scotland map

Switched On Scotland: A Roadmap to Widespread Adoption of Plug-in Vehicles was developed in conjunction with the E-cosse partnership and launched on 12 September 2013. The Roadmap vision is that by 2050, Scotland’s towns, cities and communities will be free from the damaging effects of petrol and diesel fuelled vehicles. The document also contains a number of actions to drive forward the uptake of plug-in vehicles in Scotland.