Annual Review 2014

Environment and Sustainable Travel

A830 Loch nan Uamh

A830 Loch nan Uamh (Courtesy of Angus Corby, Transport Scotland)

We launched a new landscape policy document for Transport Scotland – Fitting Landscapes. This is a completely revised, refreshed and updated policy which builds on the success of the previous document (Cost Effective Landscape: Learning from Nature) and places greater emphasis on sustainability and design quality.

The policy is mandatory for all work on the trunk road and national rail networks and encourages teams to work more innovatively and efficiently. Compliance with the policy will require those involved in the planning, design and delivery of landscape-related projects to work together to fully understand the environments within which the interventions are proposed and to ensure that early stakeholder engagement is undertaken.

In 2013/2014, we published our second Sustainability Report, providing a snapshot of our operational carbon emissions during 2011/2012. We also published our updated Carbon Management Plan and have implemented practical actions to further reduce our corporate carbon emissions, such as purchase of an electric vehicle for business travel and promoting the increased use of virtual meeting technology.

On Climate Change Adaptation, we produced objectives, policies and proposals for the transport sector which were embedded into the draft Scottish Adaptation Programme within the Infrastructure and Built Environment theme. One specific programme action has been how vegetation growing season has been affected as a result of climate change.

During 2013/2014, we collaborated with key agencies and stakeholders to produce a draft Transportation Noise Action Plan (TNAP) for the Scottish Government. We also published an Environmental Report following the Strategic Environmental Assessment for the A9 dualling project. The second Low Carbon Scotland: Meeting our Emissions Reduction Targets 2013- 2027 Report on Proposals and Policies was published in June 2013 by the Scottish Government.

We have partnered and collaborated with key agencies and public bodies in Scotland to improve air quality through the Scottish Urban Air Quality steering group and the Scottish Transport Emissions Partnership (STEP), consulting on a Low Emission Strategy for Scotland. We have also implemented a pilot rotating sensor programme to measure trunk road air quality emissions.

The updated Cycling Action Plan for Scotland (CAPS) was published in June 2013, following a refresh exercise with key stakeholders and delivery partners. The Minister for Transport and Veterans held the first annual Cycling Summit in September 2013 with senior representatives from local authorities, regional transport partnerships and national delivery bodies, to discuss implementation of the CAPS.

We have provided £2.5 million through the fourth round of the Scottish Green Bus Fund, part funding the acquisition of a further 44 new low carbon buses by March 2015.