Carbon Account For Transport No. 3: 2011/12 Edition

Chapter 3: Emissions impact of transport interventions

3.1 Background

This chapter lists those transport interventions, whether devolved or reserved to the UK/EU, which are firm commitments and are expected to have a direct and significant impact on Scottish transport emissions after the time period captured by the GHGI (1990-2009). The interventions are separated between infrastructure projects and those that involve fiscal policy or regulation. Emissions impacts are taken from the original appraisal report or subsequent published document, and have been rounded to the nearest 1 kilo-tonne of carbon-dioxide equivalent (ktCO2e) where appropriate.

As well as reporting the emissions impacts, where possible the chapter outlines the general methodological approach for estimating the impact of both infrastructure projects and fiscal/regulatory policies. As is apparent, the precise estimation methodology may differ significantly depending upon the type of intervention and the original model used. Emissions estimates are frequently assessed in isolation, and so will not necessarily include the full interactions between measures or take account of the impact of any future measures. Furthermore, for many interventions there are likely to be a number of localised impacts which may not be captured or presented consistently between appraisals. Where possible, the impacts presented here are the net emissions impact at a national level.

As a result of such methodological variation, the emissions estimates and related timescales are to be used as an informative guide to the direction of change and the order of magnitude only. The comparison, addition or netting off of emissions estimates between interventions or against the GHGI data is not statistically valid and may lead to incorrect conclusions being drawn.

3.2 Infrastructure projects


Environmental impacts of infrastructure projects are taken from the latest published estimates. In most cases, this will be the emissions estimate contained in the specific Environmental Statement. Some projects may not yet have undergone a formal Environmental Statement; where this is the case the emissions estimate is taken from the environmental chapter of the STAG Appraisal report. In general, where more than one set of figures exist, the most recent data takes precedence. For reference, links to the project home page are also provided where an online version is available.

STAG recommends that greenhouse gas emissions from road traffic are calculated according to the methodology in the Design Manual for Roads and Bridges (DMRB). DMRB was first introduced in 1992 in England and Wales, and subsequently in Scotland and Northern Ireland. It provides a comprehensive manual system which accommodates current Standards, Advice Notes and other published documents relating to Trunk Road Works.

For emissions associated with the running of diesel and electric trains, STAG recommends the use of the Rail Emission Model Final Report[20] that was produced for the Strategic Rail Authority. This is published on the Department for Transport website, and provides estimated emission factors and detailed data for individual diesel and electric train types.

There are no such established guidelines for estimating carbon estimates for other travel modes. Where projects do concern other modes, for example the Edinburgh Tram, the methodology used to estimate the carbon impact is tailored specifically to that individual project. Similarly, it is important to note that when considering the predicted emissions impacts of these infrastructure projects, the modelling procedures used to derive these predictions can differ significantly, particularly in the way in which they account for secondary impacts such as land-use changes resulting from the transport project. The Edinburgh tram model is an example where the secondary effects are assessed, and this may be one of the reasons why its emissions impacts appear relatively high.

Excluded from this analysis is the Strategic Transport Projects Review (STPR), with the exception of those projects that are to be 'fast-tracked' (i.e. the Forth Replacement Crossing and Edinburgh-Glasgow (Rail) Improvements Programme). Undertaken by Transport Scotland and announced by The Minister for Transport, Infrastructure and Climate Change in December 2008, the STPR sets out the strategic transport investment priorities for the next twenty years and provides the basis on which Ministers can make informed decisions about future transport spending beyond the current programme. Individual projects from within STPR will be included as and when they become committed schemes with a designated timescale for implementation.


A876 Upper Forth Crossing at Kincardine

  • Document: Environmental Statement (2003), Babtie
  • Construction completion: 2008
  • Estimated emissions impact: +5ktCO2 p.a. in 2009; +8ktCO2 p.a. in 2021

The £120 million Clackmannanshire Bridge over the Firth of Forth was officially opened on the 19th November 2008. This project is designed to improve the road network within and around the village of Kincardine. The existing Kincardine Bridge requires substantial refurbishment. Without the new bridge, traffic would otherwise have to divert to Stirling or the Forth Road Bridge in order to cross the Forth, resulting in major disruption to the wider road network.

It is estimated that CO2 emissions increase with time due to the predicted increase in traffic as a result of the new crossing; an estimated 8,000 additional vehicles a day would be attracted to the area.

Note that the final construction completion date of 2008/09, as specified in Transport Scotland's Scottish Motorway and Trunk Road Programme (SMTRP), is later than the original 2006 emissions impact estimate as published in the Environmental Statement.

M80 Stepps-Haggs

  • Document: Environmental Statement (2004), Babtie
  • Anticipated construction completion: September 2011
  • Estimated emissions impact: +40ktCO2 p.a. from 2012; +40ktCO2 p.a. from 2025

This project is to upgrade the A80 between Stepps and Haggs to motorway standard.

The change in carbon dioxide emissions results from the predicted increase in traffic volume and an increase in the average vehicle speed on the A80 from 69kph to 88kph.

M74 Completion

  • Document: Environmental Statement (2003), ERM
  • construction completion: 28 June 2011
  • Estimated emissions impact: +87ktCO2 p.a. from 2012; +135ktCO2 p.a. from 2020

The M74 Completion project completes a vital part of the west of Scotland's motorway network. The new eight kilometres (five miles) stretch of road continues the M74 motorway from Fullarton Road Junction, near Carmyle, to the M8 motorway west of the Kingston Bridge. Construction work on the road began in May 2008 with the road open to traffic on 28 June 2011.

The scheme is predicted to cause an increase in global emissions of carbon dioxide due to the overall increase in vehicle kilometres travelled on the road network. Note that the construction completion date of June 2011 is a year later than the original 2010 emissions impact estimate as published in the Environmental Statement.

A75 Dunragit Bypass

  • Document: Environmental Statement, Young Associates / Mouchel Parkman
  • Anticipated construction completion: 2012/13
  • Estimated emissions impact: +4ktCO2 p.a. from 2022

Drivers currently experience limited overtaking opportunities along much of the A75, which leads to traffic congestion and creates driving conditions which lower average speeds and increase driver frustration and the potential for accidents. The proposed scheme will comprise an off-line road alignment and, in accordance with its stated objective, will provide guaranteed overtaking in both eastbound and westbound directions. The additional CO2 emissions are expected as a result of the increase in distance that vehicles will travel due to the addition of the bypass.

M74 Raith Interchange

  • Document: Environmental Statement (2007), Mouchel Fairhurst JV
  • Anticipated construction completion: 2012/13
  • Estimated emissions impact: +10ktCO2 p.a. from 2013; +10ktCO2 p.a. from 2020

The scheme is aligned with the M8 Baillieston to Newhouse works and the Associated Network Improvements. These are vital links in the trunk road network of Central Scotland and serve substantial existing developments as well as some of the most significant future development sites in Scotland.

Severe traffic problems exist at Raith Junction due to the interaction of heavy turning volumes from the A725 and the M74 at the signalised roundabout. This scheme aims to relieve traffic congestion at the junction.

M8 Associated Network Improvements

  • Document: Environmental Statement, 2008 (Mouchel Fairhurst JV)
  • Anticipated construction completion: 2012/13
  • Estimated emissions impact: +0ktCO2 by 2013; +2ktCO2 p.a. by 2020

This scheme comprises capacity improvements on sections of the M73, M74 and M8 adjacent to Baillieston and Maryville interchanges as a result of changes to east-west traffic patterns once the extension to the M74 and improvements to the M8 are in place. The scheme will be procured as a package with the M8 Baillieston to Newhouse Scheme and M74 Raith Junction.

A90 Balmedie-Tipperty

  • Document: Environmental Statement (2007), Grontmij / Natural Capital
  • Anticipated construction completion: Linked to AWPR
  • Estimated emissions impact: +2ktCO2 p.a. from 2013

This project involves the proposed dualling of the A90 between Balmedie and Tipperty. These improvements will provide continuous dual carriageway between Aberdeen and Ellon, which will remove the bottleneck caused by the existing single carriageway. The local community has been pressing for this upgrade for a number of years.

The increase in emissions is due to the increase in the road sections that make up the total road assessed.

A90 Aberdeen Western Peripheral Route (AWPR)

  • Document: Assessment of Effects of Updated Traffic Model submitted for PLI (2008), which updates previous source of 2007 Environmental Statement, Jacobs
  • Anticipated construction completion: Anticipated construction completion: It had been hoped to start construction of the AWPR in 2011 however, legal challenges submitted to the Court of Session challenging the decision to proceed with the project will delay construction until resolution of the challenges. Assuming a successful outcome to the challenges, a thorough review of the remaining stages of the project will be required before issuing a definitive timetable to construction.
  • Estimated emissions impact: +8ktCO2 p.a. from 2012; +10ktCO2 p.a. from 2027.

A peripheral route around Aberdeen is proposed to reduce the high volumes of traffic using the A90 in the centre of Aberdeen, and to reduce the traffic congestion that the city experiences as a result of the volume of traffic using the A90 and its associated radial roads. The overall increase in the number of road vehicles, however, is expected to lead to an increase in carbon dioxide emissions.

The AWPR will provide substantial benefits across the whole of the North East of Scotland and will provide a boost to the economy; increase business and tourism opportunities; improve safety; cut congestion as well as increasing opportunities for improvements in public transport facilities.

M8 Baillieston-Newhouse

  • Document: Environmental Statement (2007), Mouchel Fairhurst JV
  • Anticipated construction completion: 2013/14
  • Estimated emissions impact: +30ktCO2 p.a. from 2014; +30ktCO2 p.a. from 2020

This project is a proposal to upgrade the existing A8 between Baillieston and Newhouse to dual three-lane motorway standard equivalent.

The DMRB was used to calculate the change in greenhouse gas emissions, therefore the assessment has included all traffic on the entire modelled network, not just links that were explicitly included in the local assessment. The increase in emissions is due to an increase in predicted traffic levels.

Forth Replacement Crossing

  • Document: Environmental Statement (2009), Jacobs Arup
  • Anticipated construction completion: 2016
  • Estimated emissions impact: +20ktCO2 p.a. in 2032

The Forth Replacement Crossing (FRC) is a major road infrastructure project being delivered by Transport Scotland. The project was driven by uncertainty over the future viability of the existing Forth Road Bridge, and is designed to safeguard this vital connection in Scotland's transport network. It comprises a new cablestayed bridge across the Firth of Forth, to the west of the existing Forth Road Bridge, and associated new and improved road infrastructure to the north and south of the bridge. The proposed scheme will retain the existing Forth Road Bridge as a public transport corridor for use by buses, taxis and other specified users and for continued use by pedestrians and cyclists. The new bridge will be used by all other traffic including private cars and heavy goods vehicles. Emergency vehicles will be able to use either bridge.

The FRC was identified as a key strategic investment project in Scotland's national transport network in the Strategic Transport Projects Review (STPR) undertaken by Transport Scotland in December 2008, and the National Planning Framework (NPF2) published by the Scottish Government in June 2009. There are eight specific transport planning objectives for the FRC which have underpinned the work on the proposals. These are to:

  • maintain cross-Forth transport links for all modes to at least the level of service offered in 2006
  • connect to the strategic transport network to aid optimisation of the network as a whole
  • improve the reliability of journey times for all modes
  • increase travel choices and improve integration across modes to encourage modal shift of people and goods
  • improve accessibility and social inclusion
  • minimise the impacts of maintenance on the effective operation of the transport network
  • support sustainable development and economic growth
  • minimise the impact on people, and the natural and cultural heritage of the Forth area.

Construction commenced in 2011 and that the FRC remains on target to open late 2016.


Stirling-Alloa-Kincardine Railway Line

  • Document: Stirling-Alloa-Kincardine Rail Line Reopening Benefit Study (2002), MVA / David Simmonds Consultancy / Environmental Resources Management
  • Construction completion: 2008
  • Estimated emissions impact: +2ktCO2 p.a. from 2009

In May 2008, the Stirling-Alloa-Kincardine railway line re-opened after lying unused for over 40 years. As one of the most important railway infrastructure projects in recent years, the reopening of the Stirling-Alloa-Kincardine line has delivered major social, economic and environmental benefits to the communities directly concerned and also to Scotland as a whole.

The environmental appraisal follows the guidance set out in STAG and the DMRB. Emissions have been calculated on the basis of new railway movements along the Stirling to Kincardine railway as well as changes to movements of freight (and passenger) trains on other sections of the railway network. The railway carries both high volume freight and passenger services.

Borders Railway

  • Document: Borders Railway Design Development Appraisal (2008), Transport Scotland
  • Anticipated construction completion: 2014
  • Estimated emissions impact: Cumulative decreases of -26ktCO2 by 2030, -132ktCO2 by 2050 and -248ktCO2 by 2070[21].

This project is to reinstate part of the former Waverley rail route from the Scottish Borders to Edinburgh.

The change in CO2 emissions has been calculated in line with STAG guidelines. For road traffic, the calculations are based on changes to the number of car journeys between the different stations, with each journey modelled separately. The emissions from the railway have been calculated in line with the Rail Emissions Model produced by the Strategic Rail Authority.

Overall, the Borders Railway Project will have a beneficial impact on CO2 levels. The most recent assessments suggest that it will save emissions from the opening year, and deliver significant long-term benefits, removing approximately 248ktCO2 over the appraisal period to 2070.

Edinburgh-Glasgow (Rail) Improvements Programme

  • Document: Edinburgh Glasgow Improvement Programme (EGIP) Appraisal and Analysis Model (2009), Transport Scotland
  • Anticipated construction completion: Phased to 2016
  • Embodied carbon emissions: +126ktCO2 from construction and rolling stock provision
  • Operational emissions [22]:
    • Average annual savings of -41ktCO2 p.a. from 2017
    • Cumulative savings of -2,395ktCO2 by 2075.

This intervention was identified early in the STPR and brought forward in a study which considered improvements to the capacity, frequency and journey time of rail services between Edinburgh and Glasgow.

The change in CO2 emissions has been calculated in line with guidance from the Department for Energy and Climate Change. Previous estimates derived from the Network Modelling Framework (NMF) have been significantly revised to reflect the latest operational assumptions for the programme. There is estimated to be a reduction in road emissions of around -2ktCO2 p.a. which is included in the overall figures presented.

The Edinburgh Glasgow Improvement Programme is expected to result in a significant reduction in emissions, through the electrification of approximately 350 km of single track and the resulting move from diesel to electric trains. The programme therefore achieves its emissions reductions reported here through transferring emissions from the non-traded sector to the traded sector, as demonstrated in the table below. If electricity emissions and those from embodied carbon are included, the total net impact of EGIP is -1,221 ktCO2 by 2075, approximately half the level quoted above. Table 4 demonstrates the precise breakdown of the emissions impact across the different sectors.

Table 4: Change in CO2 emissions from EGIP by sector (ktCO2)
Budget Period Operational Embodied**
Transport sector Non-transport sector*
2008 - 2012 +25 +8 +33
2013 - 2017 -10 +97 +98
2018 - 2022 -208 +177 +0
2023 onwards -2,203 +846 -5
UK Net -2,395 +1,048 +126
* Electricity production and distribution sector
** Primarily manufacturing and construction

Edinburgh Tram Lines 1a and 1b[23]

  • Document: STAG part 2 appraisal (2006), Steer Davies Gleave / Colin Buchanan
  • Anticipated construction completion: 2012
  • Estimated emissions impact[24]: +90ktCO2 p.a. from 2011; +167ktCO2 p.a. from 2031.

The proposed tram lines, Phases 1a and 1b, are covered by the respective Edinburgh Tram (Lines One and Two) Acts of 2006. Both were intended to open in 2011 but contractual disputes have caused severe delays, particularly in terms of certainty for completion and operational dates. Phase 1a runs from Edinburgh Airport to Newhaven via Princes Street and will now be an incremental construction. The first stage from the Airport to St Andrews Square is currently scheduled for operations in 2014. No date has yet been set for the completion of the remaining stage(s) Phase 1b running between Haymarket and Newhaven via the Roseburn corridor has been postponed on affordability grounds.

In the project development stages, an Edinburgh based demand forecasting model was developed to predict use of the tram and the impact on other transport modes. The STAG reports that building the tram network would generate a higher level of development along the tram corridor than not building the network. The effect of this is to increase the overall volume of movements which could potentially include a higher number of car trips. The original modelling work demonstrated that both Phase 1a and 1a+1b would increase the level of CO2, as a result of traffic re-routing and demand redistribution.[25],[26]

Table 5 summarises the information from the projects listed above. Whilst this may prove a useful reference table, it should be reiterated that these emissions estimates are not produced using a single, consistent methodology and, therefore, are not directly comparable.

Table 5: Emissions impact estimates of transport infrastructure projects
Project title Published emissions estimate
A876 Upper Forth Crossing at Kincardine +5ktCO2 p.a. from 2009
+8ktCO2 p.a. from 2021
M80 Stepps-Haggs +40ktCO2 p.a. from 2012
+40ktCO2 p.a. from 2025
M74 Completion +87ktCO2 from 2012
+135ktCO2 from 2020
A75 Dunragit Bypass +4ktCO2 p.a. from 2022
M74 Raith Interchange +10ktCO2 p.a. from 2013
+10ktCO2 p.a. from 2020
M8 Associated Network Improvements +0ktCO2 p.a. by 2013
+2ktCO2 p.a. by 2020
A90 Balmedie-Tipperty +2ktCO2 p.a. from 2013
A90 Aberdeen Western Peripheral Road +8ktCO2 p.a. from 2012
+10ktCO2 p.a. from 2027
M8 Baillieston-Newhouse +30ktCO2 p.a. from 2014
+30ktCO2 p.a. from 2020
Forth Replacement Crossing +20ktCO2 p.a. in 2032
Stirling-Alloa-Kincardine Railway Line +2ktCO2 p.a. from 2009
Borders Railway -26ktCO2 total savings by 2030
-132ktCO2 total savings by 2050
-248ktCO2 total savings by 2070
Edinburgh-Glasgow (Rail) Improvements Programme -41ktCO2 average p.a. from 2017
-2,395kt CO2 total savings by 2075
Edinburgh Tram Lines 1a and 1b +90ktCO2 p.a. from 2012
+167ktCO2 p.a. from 2031

The emission estimates within this table are forecast increases in carbon dioxide emissions with the project compared to without the project in a given future assessment year. These estimates have been calculated using a variety of methodologies and, consequently, it is not statistically valid to aggregate the individual figures or directly compare them with one another.

3.3 Fiscal / regulatory measures


The current split between devolved and reserved powers means that the majority of fiscal and regulatory measures are taken at either the UK or EU level.

The aggregate UK impact of these measures are published in Impact Assessments for individual measures and/or documents such as 'Climate Change: The UK Programme 2006'[27], 'Meeting the Energy Challenge: A White Paper on Energy'[28], and the annual HM Treasury (HMT) Budget and Pre-Budget reports. For the purpose of the CAT, estimates from these sources are the most reliable available. No attempt is made to identify what proportion of the aggregate UK or European emissions impact is specifically realised in Scotland.

Freight Modal Shift Grants

  • Document: Internal calculation (2008)
  • Implementation date: Ongoing
  • Estimated emissions impact: Not quantified

The Scottish Government operates 3 freight grant schemes - Freight Facilities Grant (FFG), Mode Shift Revenue Support Scheme (MSRS), and Waterborne Freight Grant (WFG). The aim of these schemes is to generate environmental benefits by encouraging the transfer of freight from road to rail or water.

Under the FFG Scheme, grants are available towards the capital costs of inland waterway, rail, coastal & short sea shipping freight equipment in cases where the traffic would otherwise move by road. There are two elements to the MSRS scheme: MSRS (Intermodal) can subsidise the ongoing costs of intermodal container movements by rail; MSRS (Bulk and Waterways) can subsidise the ongoing costs of bulk rail freight traffic movements and inland waterway movements. Under the WFG scheme, operating subsidy is available to support the start up phase of new coastal and short sea shipping routes where road is the less costly option.

Removal of tolls from Forth and Tay bridges

  • Document: Toll Impact Study (2007), Steer Davies Gleave
  • Implementation date: 2008
  • Estimated emissions impact: +8KtCO2 to +9KtCO2 p.a. from 2008

The Toll Impact Study undertaken by Steer Davies Gleave found that the increase in greenhouse gas emissions, as a result of removing tolls from the Forth and Tay bridges, resulted from an increase in traffic travelling through, in and around Fife only partially offset by a reduction in traffic travelling through Perthshire and Kinross. This trend is a result of the change in route choice between the M90 and the A91/92 once the tolls are removed.

Freight Best Practice Scotland

  • Document: Freight Best Practice Scotland: 2008-09 (2009), AECOM
  • Document: SAFED for Vans: 2009, AEA .
  • Implementation date: 2008
  • Estimated emissions impact: -4KtCO2 in 2008-09

In October 2008 the Scottish Government bought into the Freight Best Practice programme originally developed by the Department for Transport (DfT) with the aim of reducing carbon emissions. It has generated a range of free material to help road freight managers and drivers improve the efficiency of their operations. Guides, case studies, software and seminars are available on topics such as saving fuel, developing skills, equipment and systems, operational efficiency and performance management. Buy-in enabled Scottish hauliers to have access to the existing library of materials that DfT developed plus new material specifically targeted at Scottish themes i.e. 8 Scotland-specific case studies, 5 pocket guides and a 'lite' guide have been produced. Since 1 April 2011 FBP Scotland has been delivered online via a website on the Transport Scotland webpage. All of its documents are available to download electronically.

In addition to this, the Scottish Government has established a network of Safe and Fuel Efficient Driving (SAFED) van instructors to enable industry to reduce its CO2 emissions. In 2009, 50 instructors were trained to deliver SAFED and 100 reference students from a diverse range of operators were trained in SAFED alongside this. The final report concluded that 74 tCO2e were abated from training the 100 reference students. Projecting forward, it proposes that there is demand for 15,000 van drivers to be trained in SAFED in 2010-11, which has the potential to abate 11.1 ktCO2 per annum.

Air Passenger Duty (APD)[29]

  • Document: Pre-Budget Report (2008), HMT
  • Implementation date: 1st November 2009 and 1st November 2010
  • Estimated emissions impact: -0.6MtCO2 in 2011-12 (UK)[30]

Air Passenger Duty (APD) is a duty of Excise which is levied on the carriage, from a UK airport, of chargeable passengers on chargeable aircraft. Following the doubling of APD rates in 2007, reform of APD has meant that since 1 November 2009, APD has been structured around four distance bands, set at intervals of 2,000 miles from London. The intention of the banding is that those flying further will pay more and is expected to deliver estimated savings of 0.4MtCO2 in 2010-11 rising to 0.6 MtCO2 in 2011-12.

In the 2011 Budget, APD rates were frozen for 2011-12 and an RPI increase deferred to April 2012. In addition to this, the UK Government launched a consultation on reform of APD as a means of developing different options for simplifying the tax system for air transport to support a number of objectives including the reduction of global emissions.

Smarter Choices, Smarter Places

  • Document: Strategic Environmental Assessment (2008), The Scottish Government
  • Implementation date: 2009
  • Estimated emissions impact: -71ktCO2 p.a. from 2009

Smarter Choices Smarter Places is a Scottish Government partnership project with COSLA. The 3 year pilot is designed to increase active travel and public transport use in 7 project locations:

  • Dumfries & Galloway and SWestrans - Dumfries
  • Dundee - Dundee Health Central
  • East Dunbartonshire - Kirkintilloch and Lenzie (under 'Transport and Development')
  • East Renfrewshire - Barrhead
  • Falkirk - Larbert and Stenhousemuir
  • Glasgow - East End Accessibility (supporting Commonwealth Games)
  • Orkney - Kirkwall

Activities in these Local Authorities include: intensive marketing and awareness raising campaigns around travel planning, improving public transport services, and upgrades in walking and cycling infrastructures. Alongside reducing emissions, these initiatives will contribute to a number of objectives in the Scottish Government's National Performance Framework, and Local Authorities' Single Outcome Agreements.

Inclusion of aviation in EU ETS

  • Document: Pre-Budget Report (2008), HMT
  • Implementation date: 2012
  • Estimated emissions impact: -133MtCO2 p.a. in 2015 and 194MtCO2 p.a. in 2020 across Europe

A Directive to include aviation into the EU Emissions Trading Scheme (ETS) was published in the Official Journal of the European Union on 13 January 2009. The Aviation Greenhouse Gas Emissions Trading Scheme Regulations 2010 came into force in the UK on 31 August 2010. The inclusion of aviation in the EU ETS will allow the sector to take responsibility for its carbon emissions in the most cost effective way and will form the basis for wider, global action.

Sustainable transport measures

  • Document: N/A
  • Implementation date: Ongoing
  • Estimated emissions impact: Not quantified

The Scottish Government is committed to reducing emissions from the transport sector and, as well as the specific Smarter Choices, Smarter Places programme, substantial funding is given to public transport provision and promoting more sustainable travel and transport means. These sustainable transport policies include: fuel efficient driving; 'Smarter Choices' including travel plans using more sustainable transport, information and marketing; encouraging use of cleaner vehicles and alternative fuels where these are sustainable; increasing cycling through the Cycling Action Plan and completion of the National Cycle Network. Monitoring programmes are being put in place for all of these measures to assess their impacts.

New car CO2 regulation

  • Document: Low Carbon Transport: A Greener Future. DfT, 2009
  • Implementation date: Ongoing
  • Estimated emissions impact: -7 MtCO2 p.a. in 2020 across the UK

On 6 April 2009 the EU Council of Ministers formally adopted a regulation setting mandatory CO2 reduction targets for manufacturers registering vehicles in the EU. It sets an EU average emissions target of 130gCO2/km by 2015 and a longer-term target of 95gCO2/km by 2020. This represents a reduction in average new car CO2 emissions of around 40% on 2007 levels.[31]

Fuel duty

  • Document: Budget Report (2010), HMT
  • Implementation date: Ongoing
  • Estimated emissions impact: -2 MtCO2 p.a. by 2014-15 across the UK compared to inflation only increases.

To support fiscal consolidation and encourage fuel efficient behaviour Budget 2009 announced that fuel duty would increase by one pence per litre in real terms on 1 April each year from 2010 to 2013. Budget 2010 announced that the 2010-11 increase would be staged and that fuel duty will increase by a further penny per litre in real terms in April 2014. These measures will save 2MtCO2 per year by 2014-15 compared to inflation only increases.

Due to high oil prices, Budget 2011 cut the fuel duty by 1p per litre and deferred the scheduled 2011 inflation-only increase until 1 January 2012. The impact of such changes on CO2 emissions has not been derived, but is likely to reduce the likely hood of achieving the 2MtCO2 per year saving by 2014-15.

Bio-fuels and the Renewable Transport Fuels Obligation

  • Document: Pre-Budget Report (2009), HMT
  • Implementation date: Ongoing
  • Estimated emissions impact: -2.6 to -3MtCO2 in 2010-11 from RTFO (UK)
    -0.3MtCO2 in 2012-13 from abolition of the biofuels duty differential (UK) based on Budget 2008 figures.

The Renewable Transport Fuels Obligation (RTFO) sets targets for increasing the use of renewable fuels in UK road transport with the aim of reducing carbon emissions. It commenced in April 2008 and places an obligation on fuel suppliers to ensure that a certain percentage of their aggregate sales are made up of bio-fuels. Based on advice from the King Review[32] and Gallagher Review[33], the UK's bio-fuels target for 2009-10 was 3.25% rising to 3.5% in 2010-11[34]. The UK met its 2009-10 target with 3.33% of the UK's total road transport fuel supply being bio-fuels. This has equated to a 2MtCO2e saving compared to the equivalent fossil fuels. In the twelve months of the 2010/11 obligation period, 1,440 million litres of bio-fuel have been supplied, which is approximately 3.1% of total road transport fuel reported to the RTFO Administrator against an annual target of 3.5%.

The Renewable Energy Directive (RED) requires the UK to source 15% of its overall energy and 10% of energy used in transport from renewable sources by 2020. The majority of the transport target is expected to be met through the use of bio-fuel. The RED introduces a number of sustainability criteria which bio-fuel must meet in order to be counted towards meeting the 10% target.

The Fuel Quality Directive introduces the requirement for transport fuel / energy suppliers to reduce the lifecycle greenhouse gas emissions of the fuel / energy supply by 6% per unity of energy by 2020. Department for Transport analysis suggests the required reduction will come largely from increased supply of bio-fuel.

Reform to vehicle excise duty

  • Document: Pre-Budget Report (2009), HMT
  • Anticipated implementation date: 2010
  • Estimated emissions impact: Cumulative UK saving of 1.0 MtCO2 by 2020

From April 2010, the Government introduced a new first-year rate of VED. Under this system, all cars emitting up to 130 g CO2 per km pay no VED in the first year. Cars emitting over 165 g CO2 per km pay additional VED in the first year. First year rates are used to encourage the purchase of more fuel-efficient cars. Together, these changes are estimated to result in a cumulative UK saving of 1.0MtCO2 by 2020.However, this assessment only includes impacts in the new car market, and these figures will contribute to the delivery of the savings from the EU regulation on CO2 from cars, rather than constitute additional savings. Budget 2011 announced that VED rates would increase by RPI indexation in 2011-12 with rates for HGVs frozen over the period.

Company car tax

  • Document: Pre-Budget Report (2009), HMT
  • Anticipated implementation date: 2011
  • Estimated emissions impact: Not quantified

Building on reforms made to company car tax in 2008 and 2009, the Government in its June 2010 budget set out further reform of company car tax so that it continues to provide an incentive to purchase the lowest emitting vehicles on the market.

From April 2011, the basic threshold for the 15 per cent band of company car tax will be reduced by 5 grams of carbon dioxide emitted per kilometre (g CO2 per km), so that this band applies to cars emitting between 121 and 129g CO2 per km.

The percentage of list price subject to tax will continue to increase by one percentage point with every 5g CO2 per km increase in emissions, to a maximum of 35 per cent. The cap on car list prices used to calculate the taxable benefit arising from company cars will also be abolished on in April 2011 as will discounts for early uptake Euro 4-standard diesel cars, higher-emitting hybrid cars and alternative fuel company cars.

From April 2012, the 10 per cent band for cars emitting 120g CO2 per km or less will be removed, and the system of bands will be extended so that they increase by one percentage point with every 5g CO2 per km increase in emissions, from 10 per cent. This 10 per cent band will apply to cars that emit 99g of CO2 per km or less.

Budget 2011 announced that from April 2013, Company Car Tax will be frozen for cars emitting less than 95g/km and will increase by 1 percentage point for vehicles with CO2 emissions between 95g/km and 219g/km.

Fuel benefit charge (FBC)

  • Document: Pre-Budget Report (2009), HMT
  • Anticipated implementation date: 2010
  • Estimated emissions impact: Not quantified

The provision of free fuel to company car drivers provides a perverse environmental incentive. The Government is committed to increasing the fuel benefit charge multiplier - which is used to calculate the tax payable on free fuel - at least in line with inflation each year. The Pre-Budget Report 2009 set out that from 6 April 2010, the multiplier would increase from £16,900 to £18,000. The van fuel benefit charge - on which tax on free van fuel is payable - will also increase from £500 to £550. Budget 2011 announced that the fuel benefit charge multiplier for cars would increase by indexation to £18,800 in 2011.

Low Carbon Vehicles

  • Document: Pre-Budget Report (2009), HMT
  • Anticipated implementation date: 2010-11
  • Estimated emissions impact: Not quantified

  • Document: Budget 2010, HMT
  • Anticipated implementation date: 2011 onwards
  • Estimated emissions impact: Not quantified[35]

Transport Scotland is one of eight consortia involved in the UK Government's £30m Plugged in Places scheme, which supports the installation of charging infrastructure for electric vehicles. This activity will result in the installation of approximately 375 charging points across Scotland and will provide a network of points within Scotland and linked to the North East of England and Northern Ireland.

Over the past 2 years, Transport Scotland has invested over £8m in electric vehicles and infrastructure for the public sector in Scotland. A £4.2m Electric Vehicle Procurement Support Scheme for the public sector in 2011/12 was announced on 24th October 2011.

This extra funding will allow local authorities and their community planning partners to bridge the gap between the cost of petrol or diesel powered vehicles and their electric powered equivalents, and help drive down air-polluting emissions. Funding can also be used to install charging points on public sector owned land to support the vehicles. We estimate this funding will allow some 120 vehicles to be purchased and around 160 charging points installed in 2011/12. This work will pave the way for the future uptake of more electric vehicles amongst the general public.

This builds on work carried out as a direct result of £4.3m funding in 2010/11 which has enabled Scotland's public services to purchase 145 low carbon vehicles, including cars, vans and street sweepers, and install 74 charging points across the country.

In addition, Ministers have announced an additional £5m to support low carbon vehicles in 2014/15 through our Future Transport Fund, this is on top of £11m already announced through the fund to cover the next 2 years to support LCVs, walking, cycling and green buses

Vehicles with zero tailpipe emissions are already exempt from VED. Budget 2009 announced that, from April 2010, electric cars and vans would also be exempt from company car tax and van benefit charge for five years. This will support the purchase of electric cars and vans by employers.

Since 2002, electric cars have been eligible for a 100 per cent first-year allowance, in order to provide businesses with an incentive to buy cars with lower CO2 emissions. The Pre-Budget Report 2009 announced that a 100 per cent first-year allowance will also be provided for the purchase of electric vans, from April 2010, subject to confirming compatibility with state aid rules. This will help to catalyse the market for electric vans, as manufacturers continue to develop electric vehicle technology.

The UK Government has committed over £450 million to support the manufacture and uptake of ultra-low carbon vehicles. For example, the Plug-In Car Grant has provided up to £5,000 off the price of eligible cars from January 2011. The UK Government announced on 21 February 2012 a new Plug-in Van Grant, which will support van buyers who will be able to receive 20% - up to £8,000 - off the cost of the first wave of 7 plug-in vans.

In November 2010, Transport Scotland announced that 48 new low carbon vehicles will join the Scottish bus fleet as a result of £4.4m in grant funding awarded to six bus operators across Scotland. These operators will also benefit from the Low Carbon Vehicles (LCV) incentive within the Bus Service Operators Grant (BSOG) scheme, which pays out at twice the conventional rate for LCVs. It is anticipated that the new buses will deliver an average reduction of 21 t CO2 p.a. Round 2 (2011/12) of the Scottish Green Bus Fund, with a fixed budget of £2m, has just closed and will result in more new low carbon buses joining the Scottish bus fleet by March 2013.

Table 6 summarises the previous information. As with Table 5, these emissions are not produced using a single, consistent methodology and, therefore, are not directly comparable.

Table 6: Emissions impact estimates of fiscal / regulatory measures
Project title Published emissions estimate
Freight Facilities Grants Not quantified
Removal of tolls from Forth and Tay bridges +8ktCO2 to +9ktCO2 p.a. from 2008
Freight Best Practice -4KtCO2 in 2008-09
Air passenger duty -0.6MtCO2 in 2011-12 (UK)
Smarter Choices, Smarter Places -71ktCO2 p.a. from 2009
Inclusion of aviation in EU ETS -133MtCO2 p.a. in 2015
-194MtCO2 p.a. in 2020 (Europe)
Sustainable transport measures Not quantified
New Car CO2 Regulation -7 MtCO2 p.a. in 2020 (UK)
Fuel Duty -2MtCO2 p.a. by 2014-15 (UK)
Biofuels and the Renewable Transport Fuels Obligation -2.6 to -3MtCO2 in 2010-11 from RTFO
-0.3MtCO2 in 2012-13 from abolition of the biofuels duty differential (UK)
Reform to vehicle excise duty[36] -1.0MtCO2 total savings by 2020 (UK)
Company car tax[20] Not quantified
Fuel benefit charge Not quantified
Electric van benefit charge Not quantified
Ultra-low carbon vehicles in the UK Not quantified

The emission estimates within this table are forecast increases in carbon dioxide emissions with the policy compared to without the policy in a given future assessment year. These estimates have been calculated using a variety of methodologies and, consequently, it is not statistically valid to aggregate the individual figures or directly compare them with one another.

3.4 Net impact of all Scottish measures

The Carbon Account for Transport collates information from a variety of sources, one of the key ones being the Scottish Transport Appraisal Guidance (STAG). Two key concepts in STAG are:

  • It should be applied proportionately but comprehensively. The whole process should be used and the level of detail required will be determined by the scale of the impacts of the transport issue being addressed.
  • It does not prioritise between options. Instead, it is an aid to decision makers to allow them to make informed choices. STAG may provide an initial rationale for investment and it is important that the STAG outcomes are revisited as the Business Case for an intervention develops.

As such, a study undertaken using STAG is not required to provide an absolute prediction of all of the outcomes of an intervention; it provides sufficient information to understand the relative impacts between different options. It is not, therefore, a key concept of STAG to be able to compare the outcomes of different STAG studies.

Following this approach, the totals highlighted in Tables 5 and 6 detail the estimated impact of each individual intervention in isolation. As stated, these emissions estimates are frequently based upon models that are tailored specifically to a particular intervention and as such it is not statistically valid to aggregate the individual totals or directly compare them with one another.

The purpose of the CAT, however, is to improve transparency and to monitor progress towards achievement of the NTS strategic outcome of reduced transport emissions. In 2010 a single model run of the Land-Use and Transport Integration in Scotland (LATIS) service was commissioned to estimate the net impact of all measures within the CAT that fall under the competence of the Scottish Government or other Scottish public body[37]. LATIS includes a strategic transport and land-use model covering all of Scotland and all motorised modes of transport. The use of LATIS to assess the carbon impacts of Scottish transport schemes ensures consistency and takes full account of the potential displacement of developments between one area and another. The modelling of this set of measures allows a greater understanding of the full impact that Scottish interventions are having, or are expected to have, on underlying emissions from transport. It does not include the impact of those measures taken at a reserved level, for example changes to fuel duty. The full emissions output of this model simulation is demonstrated in Table 7, with the long-run impact being estimated at +71ktCO2 p.a. by 2022 (around a 0.4% growth in annual transport emissions).

Table 7: Net impact of all Scottish measures[38]
Year Annual abatement (ktCO2e)
2012 +82
2017 +66
2022 +71

This estimated increase in emissions is largely driven by a net increase in vehicle kilometres, which are anticipated to increase by 1.2% above a business as usual scenario in 2022 as a result of Scottish transport interventions. However, the relatively small net increase in both vehicle kilometres and emissions at a national level masks some more significant regional differences. Specifically, vehicle kilometres in Strathclyde and Aberdeen are predicted to increase the most, predominantly due to the large infrastructure projects that are located within these areas, whilst those in the South West and Perthshire are expected to decrease by the greatest amounts. This demonstrates the importance of fully assessing wider geographic interactions and impacts, including on the population, labour market and economy, when modelling any specific transport intervention.