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Appendix A - Review of Current and Developing Policies and Action Plans

Scotland’s Transport Future

Scotland’s Transport Future is a transport White Paper which was published by the Scottish Executive in June 2004. The policy document outlines a vision for Scotland’s transport future as follows:

"An accessible Scotland with safe, integrated and reliable transport that supports economic growth, provides opportunities for all and is easy to use; a transport system that meets everyone's needs, respects our environment and contributes to health; services recognised internationally for quality, technology and innovation and for effective and well-maintained networks; a culture where fewer short journeys are made by car, where we favour public transport, walking and cycling because they are safe and sustainable, where transport providers and planners respond to the changing needs of businesses, communities and users and where one ticket will get you anywhere"

The overall aim of the strategy is "to promote economic growth, social inclusion, health and protection of our environment through a safe, integrated, effective and efficient transport system".

The objectives are to:

  • "promote economic growth by building, enhancing, managing and maintaining transport services, infrastructure and networks to maximise their efficiency;
  • promote social inclusion by connecting remote and disadvantaged communities and increasing the accessibility of the transport network;
  • protect our environment and improve health by building and investing in public transport and other types of efficient and sustainable transport which minimise emissions and consumption of resources and energy;
  • improve safety of journeys by reducing accidents and enhancing the personal safety of pedestrians, drivers, passengers and staff; and
  • improve integration by making journey planning and ticketing easier and working to ensure smooth connection between different forms of transport."

Scotland’s Transport Future sets out the Scottish Executive’s ambitions for improving the planning and delivery of transport in Scotland. The White Paper sets out the high level objectives for Scotland’s transport system and provides a framework for the development of the transport network at the national, regional and local level.

Summary of High Level Expectations from Scotland’s Transport Future (Scottish Executive, June 2004):

  • promote economic growth through efficient transport networks;
  • promote social inclusion by providing an accessible transport network;
  • protect the environment and improve health through efficient and sustainable transport;
  • improve safety of journeys; and
  • improve integration of journey planning and ticketing.

Scotland’s National Transport Strategy

The Scottish Executive and Transport Scotland published an NTS for Scotland in December 2006. The NTS sets out the context for the activities of RTPs and local authorities and further develops the Scottish Executive’s aims and objectives for transport, as set out within the White Paper. The NTS thus considers Scotland’s transport needs and the needs of travellers, over the medium to long-term.

The NTS sets the framework for STPR and will determine the Scottish Executive’s future infrastructure investment.

The NTS identifies the following key trends and projections in transport:

  • overall growth in travel - In Scotland, the estimated average distance travelled per person per year has increased by 59 per cent between 1985/86 and 2004/05.
  • increasing dominance of the car – The private car is recognised as being by far the dominant mode of transport for people in Scotland. In 2004/2005 23 per cent of journeys under one mile and 57 per cent of journeys between one and two miles were undertaken by car. Latest forecasts suggest road traffic in Scotland will grow by 12 per cent between 2005 and 2010 and by 22 per cent between 2005 and 2015. However, it is noted that in 2005 traffic volume was more or less the same as the 2004 level;
  • increase in aviation - There has been a dramatic growth in air transport in Scotland, with an eight-fold increase in passenger numbers between 1970 and 2005. This reflects the availability of cheaper fares and greater choice in flights. Air travel is predicted to rise by 150 per cent between 2004 and 2030; and
  • a recovery in bus and rail passenger numbers – there have been recoveries in passenger numbers using public transport. Buses are the dominant form of public transport in terms of journey numbers. Bus passenger numbers have risen in six of the last seven years. Rail passenger numbers have been rising and are now comparable with 1960s levels.

The NTS goes on to outline the key factors influencing the trends above as follows:

  • economic growth – The natural growth in trade which accompanies increased globalisation and economic growth has itself created more demands for transport services and this inevitably has occurred in the context of limited infrastructure capacity;
  • rising disposable income - The rise in real incomes associated with economic growth are responsible for increasing demand for personal travel and increasing levels of car ownership;
  • changes in land use patterns – Changes in land use patterns and lifecycles have made a significant contribution to the trends summarised above – for example with the rise in long-distance commuting and out-of-town shopping centres; and
  • transport users do not pay full costs of journeys – transport users do not pay the full costs they impose on society (for example, in terms of emissions, noise and air quality). If transport users paid a price that was a truer reflection of the full costs of transport, this would reduce the demand for transport and/or help create more sustainable transport decisions.

Based on the trends and drivers outlined above, the NTS identifies the key challenges affecting transport in Scotland as follows:

  • congestion and journey time reliability – In 2005, 11 per cent of car journeys were reported as delayed by congestion, with this figure rising to nearly 25 per cent of journeys undertaken in the weekday rush hours. Reliability and punctuality of public transport are important for both existing users and to encourage new users. Longer, unpredictable journey times for cars, freight and public transport users have significant economic impacts, (both from higher direct costs of transport and the cost to business of a loss of competitiveness) and cause higher levels of emissions, impairing both local and global air quality;
  • emissions – The transport sector is the second biggest contributor of greenhouse gas emissions in Scotland, behind energy supply, contributing 22 per cent of emissions. Between 1990 and 2004 the emissions from the transport sector increased by 7 per cent, while during the same period, emissions from aviation increased by 50 per cent;
  • social inclusion issues – Access to high quality affordable public transport is particularly important for certain groups. For those seeking education, training or employment, access is particularly vital for becoming and remaining economically active. Accessibility problems can be more significant for those whose mobility is restricted, such as older or disabled people or those with young children. Access to transport can be a particular challenge for those living in disadvantaged communities. Improving public transport for all is a key requirement.

The NTS adopts the vision and objectives of Scotland’s Transport Future. The NTS identifies three key strategic outcomes in order to achieve the vision and objectives set out within Scotland’s Transport Future:

  • improve journey times and connections, to tackle congestion and the lack of integration and connections in transport which impact on our high level objectives for economic growth, social inclusion, integration and safety;
  • reduce emissions, to tackle the issues of climate change, air quality and health improvement which impact on our high-level objective for protecting the environment and improving health; and
  • improve quality and accessibility and tackle affordability, to give people a choice of public transport where availability means better quality public transport services and value for money or an alternative to the car.

The NTS identifies a requirement to tackle the issues arising from the trends of increasing road and air travel. The NTS envisages a combination of new technology and infrastructure investment alongside measures to change travel patterns and influence travel choices.

In response to this, the NTS suggests the following, which, if delivered, will achieve the desired outcomes:

Improve journey times and connections

The NTS identifies that "to enhance Scotland’s global competitiveness and to enable Scotland’s economy to maximise its productivity, Scotland needs to ensure that it has a well-connected, sustainable transport network, which offers fast and reliable journey times for both passengers and for businesses needing to transport freight." Commitments include:

  • taking forward the Strategic Transport Projects Review based on the key strategic outcomes for the NTS to enhance Scotland’s strategic transport network;
  • working with the UK Government to investigate the potential value of high speed rail links to London and on to Europe to enhance connections with our global networks;
  • continuing to work with the UK Government on proposals for a UK based road pricing scheme to manage demand on the network;
  • investing £10 million in the next two years to tackle congestion from the school run; and
  • delivering the current capital investment programme of improvement to both trunk road and rail networks to improve connections.

Reduce emissions

The NTS identifies a number of commitments to deliver a "transport system that respects Scotland’s environment and contributes to health improvement. Delivering carbon savings is not the only environmental and health issue for Scotland’s National Transport Strategy to consider, but we do believe it is the most important one to get right." Commitments include:

  • working with the UK Government to deliver the bio fuels target by 2010 and beyond;
  • promoting SMART measures on all journeys, focusing especially on the commute to work through developing travel awareness and marketing campaigns;
  • exploring with key partners sustainable travel demonstration towns across Scotland to reduce car use and promote cycling and walking;
  • undertaking a Scottish specific appraisal of the potential carbon savings of stricter adherence to national speed limits on trunk roads and motorways;
  • promoting and encouraging new vehicle technologies; and
  • supporting sustainable distribution strategies through the Scottish Road Haulage Modernisation Fund.

The key challenge for transport is to break the link between economic growth, increased traffic and increased emissions. This challenge has been met in other sectors and now needs to be addressed in the transport sector.

Improve quality, accessibility and affordability

The NTS outlines that "Scotland aspires to be a society which is socially inclusive, just and where everyone has the opportunity to contribute and participate in that society. That means ensuring that people have the opportunity to access education, training and employment as well as key services such as health, cultural, sporting and leisure activities". Commitments which are made in the NTS include:

  • introducing a national concessionary travel scheme for young people.
  • undertaking a review of ferry services with a view to developing a long-term strategy for lifeline services to 2025;
  • reviewing the affordability of public transport in relation to ferry, rail and bus services;
  • amending the legislation on Bus Services Operators grant (BSOG) to allow claims to be made in respect of fully flexible services;
  • publishing Bus Action Plan to help achieve a step change in the quality of bus service provision; and
  • introducing integrated ticketing pilots to enhance the passenger journey.

The NTS is set within the overall policy context of Scotland’s Transport Future. The Strategy goes on to outline the trends, drivers and key challenges facing the transport network in Scotland. Based on a review of these factors the NTS outlines three key outcomes required to deliver the objectives of the White Paper. In the context of each strategic outcome, the NTS details a number of specific priorities to be addressed to achieve these outcomes. The key high-level expectations detailed in the NTS are summarised below.

Summary of High Level Expectations from the National Transport Strategy (Scottish Executive, December 2006):

  • delivery of the White Paper objectives;
  • improve journey times and connections;
  • reduce emissions; and
  • improve quality and accessibility and tackle affordability.

Moving Into The Future: An Action Plan For Buses in Scotland

Moving Into The Future: An Action Plan For Buses in Scotland (Scottish Executive, December 2006) sets out the Scottish Executive’s aims and objectives in relation to bus services in Scotland and acts as an associated document to the NTS. The NTS promotes sustainable economic growth and sets the context for the development of sustainable transport solutions for Scotland over the next 20 to 25 years. The key aims of the NTS are to contribute to economic growth through the following strategic outcomes:

  • improving journey times and connections;
  • reducing emissions; and
  • improving quality, accessibility and affordability.

The aims, objectives and actions of the Action Plan are as follows:

to improve bus services through effective transport planning:

  • a clear vision of how local bus services will meet local needs;
  • greater use of bus plans with explicit actions to deliver vision;
  • close partnership working between transport authorities and bus operators; and
  • improved communication with all stakeholders.

To achieve these aims and objectives, the following Actions are proposed:

1. Work with Regional Transport Partnerships to ensure the forthcoming Regional Transport Strategies have a strong bus component.

2. Work with transport authorities to improve bus services, including by establishing Bus Forums in each authority area.

3. Integrate bus planning (including Demand Responsive Transport) with the general, land use, health service and education planning frameworks.

to support the development of the bus industry in Scotland

  • targeted financial support that meets transport aims (for example encouraging investment in cleaner and more innovative buses);
  • legislation that supports transport aims;
  • consideration of national standards where required;
  • use of Quality Partnerships and Quality Contracts where appropriate;
  • involvement of all stakeholders; and
  • promotion of accessibility and social inclusion.

To achieve these aims and objectives, the following Actions are proposed:

1. Review Scottish government funding, with operators and transport authorities, to ensure that it is directed at improving the quality and reliability of services and at enhancing bus infrastructure (for example bus passenger priority measures and Bus Rapid Transit).

2. Review Grant Aided Expenditure (GAE) for supported services for its impact on rural areas.

3. Examine performance-related funding for payment of Bus Service Operators Grant (BSOG), drawing lessons from the Service Quality Incentive Regime (SQUIRE), a rail performance regime; and amend BSOG to allow claims to be made for fully flexible registered services.

4. Expand the Rural Transport Fund.

5. Expand Demand Responsive Transport.

6. In order to support franchising where there is market failure, review the legislation on Quality Contracts (QCs) to simplify the process to be followed by transport authorities.

7. Review the legislation on Quality Partnerships (QPs) to simplify the process and increase the benefits to the passenger.

8. Issue Scotland-specific guidance on Punctuality Improvement Partnerships (PIPs).

9. Liaise with the Department for Transport on enhancements to and the development of, quality measures.

10. Encourage investment in cleaner and more innovative buses.

11. Working with transport authorities, conduct a nation-wide review of bus stop information.

to support effective implementation of the Regulatory Regime:

  • public bodies effectively implementing the regulatory regime;
  • legislation that supports the regulatory regime; and
  • an adequately resourced regime.

To achieve these aims and objectives, the following Actions are proposed:

1. Establish a protocol with the Traffic Commissioner and the Vehicle and Operator Services Agency (VOSA) to improve the effectiveness of the regulatory regime, including setting time limits for decisions by the Commissioner following a public inquiry, better targeting of inspection by VOSA and ensuring greater joint working by transport authorities in identifying issues for inspection.

2. Consider legislative changes to the service registration rules to increase the effectiveness of the registration regime.

3. Work with police and local authorities to improve enforcement of bus passenger priorities and no parking at bus stops.

The Action Plan for Buses in Scotland outlines the Scottish Executives aims and objectives for bus services in Scotland and specifies measures required to support and improve bus services throughout Scotland. The high-level expectations set out in the Action Plan for Buses in Scotland are summarised below.

Summary of High Level Expectations from Moving Into The Future: An Action Plan For Buses in Scotland (Scottish Executive, December 2006)

  • encourage effective transport planning;
  • support the development of the bus industry; and
  • support effective implementation of the Regulatory Regime.

Scotland’s Railways

  • Scotland’s Railways (Scottish Executive, December 2006) sets out the Scottish Executive’s aims and objectives for the rail industry in Scotland and acts as an associated document to the NTS. As outlined above, the NTS promotes sustainable economic growth and sets the context for the development of sustainable transport solutions for Scotland over the next 20 to 25 years. The key aims of the NTS are to contribute to economic growth through the following strategic outcomes:
  • improving journey times and connections;
  • reducing emissions; and
  • improving quality, accessibility and affordability.

It is recognised that rail has a central role within the NTS and, as such, the vision for the railway in Scotland is that it should provide "a safe, reliable customer-focused service that supports our economy and delivers wider social inclusion and environmental aspirations."

The aims for the rail network, as set out within Scotland’s Railways, are as follows:

"Support our high level objective to promote economic growth by focussing on our rail network moving large volumes of people quickly and reliably within and between our city regions as a priority; and

Support our high level objective to protect the environment and improve health by recognising the role of rail as an integral part of Scotland’s National Transport Strategy and the contribution rail makes to a sustainable, efficient and effective transport system which minimises the impact of travel on the environment. We will do so with full regard to Scotland’s Sustainable Development Strategy Choosing Our Future and to Scotland’s Climate Change Programme Changing Our Ways."

In order to meet the above, the following aspirations are set out for the rail network:

  • "offer world class train services which connect our city regions and major towns, providing journey times and quality of service that are competitive with car and air;
  • provide access to inter-urban services through high quality interchange stations that link with feeder rail services from intermediate stations and offer easy transfer from car, bus, tram, subway, ferry, cycle and walking;
  • make commuter train services attractive to passengers by ensuring that the journey to work is a high quality, reliable travel option and by ensuring that our rolling stock choices take account of environmental considerations, including air quality and noise emissions;
  • support heavily loaded freight trains carrying an increasingly wide range of products with effective interchange to road and sea; and
  • achieve a rail industry that delivers efficiently and effectively to support our aims and vision."

Scotland’s Railways makes specific reference to the Scottish Planning Assessment (SPA) (Arup Consultancy on behalf of Strategic Rail Authority, April 2005) which examined options for the long-term development of the railway to 2026. The SPA highlights the importance of "improving access to stations by increasing car parking capacity and improving interchange to other modes. At certain key stations, facilities should be improved to encourage travellers to interchange between services."

The SPA also identifies that City Regions are expected to drive growth in Scotland which in turn is expected to continue to undergo important economic and demographic change. It is considered that these changes will have important implications for transport in terms of commuting and inter-urban journeys, as well as the movement of freight required to support the City Regions.

Demand for rail has been growing in recent years and demand for both passenger and rail freight services is forecast to increase by at least one-third over the next twenty years. As such, the Scottish Executive outlines that:

"A modern, efficient rail network is essential in meeting these increasing demands. There is a need to move forward, addressing currently known problems whilst recognising the need to plan and invest for the future in a cost effective, sustainable way. We expect the industry to:

  • develop and deliver innovative rail solutions for the 21st Century;
  • deliver a service that minimises the impact on the environment and ensures that rail is the environmentally preferred mode of travel and a real alternative to the car and air travel both within Scotland and cross-border;
  • reduce the time it takes to progress projects from feasibility to delivery;
  • deliver on time, on budget and with a world class product;
  • continue to improve the performance of the network; and
  • work in partnership with government, RTPs, local authorities and private companies to achieve the above."

Potential developments or enhancements to the rail network will contribute to the delivery of the strategic outcomes identified in the NTS as follows:

improving journey times and connections

  • timetabling and frequency enhancements to reduce inter-urban journey times;
  • infrastructure enhancements to reduce inter-urban journey times; and
  • maintain current improvements to reliability of services.

reducing emissions

  • electrification to minimise emissions and reduce fossil fuel reliance (in some cases may also reduce journey times); and
  • capacity improvements to enable increased passenger numbers and freight volumes.

improving quality, accessibility and affordability

  • enhancing integration with other modes;
  • enhancements to stations, to improve capacity, passenger experience and to encourage modal shift; and
  • timetable and service enhancements.

It is recognised that by investing in the rail network, a contribution can also be made to reducing road congestion and harmful emissions and also reducing the impact of transport on the environment. As such, an implementation plan has been identified to assist in the delivery of the above and increase demand for rail services. This includes the following improvements:

  • optimising the use of the network through effective timetabling of passenger and freight services;
  • improving the existing rail infrastructure;
  • delivering the programme of major projects;
  • ensuring that the ongoing replacement of rolling stock reflects customer, environmental and network needs;
  • adding new stations and freight terminals to the network;
  • ensuring that services are accessible to everyone;
  • development of multi-modal ticketing;
  • improving access to stations for all modes and expanded car parking at stations where appropriate;
  • implementing the new quality system SQUIRE;
  • installation of Customer Information Systems; and
  • ensuring safety and security measures are included when planning and developing improvements.

Scotland’s Railways outlines aspirations for various sections of the Scottish rail network. To provide context, the local rail network is illustrated within Figure 1, below.

Figure 1 Local Rail Network

image of Figure 1 Local Rail Network

  • deliver the Edinburgh Airport Rail Link;
  • deliver new Airdrie to Bathgate line;
  • deliver Borders Railway to Tweedbank;
  • ensure infrastructure is suitable for future freight traffic compatible with freight growth; and
  • build on electrification of the Edinburgh – Glasgow route to provide electric services between Edinburgh and Stirling / Dunblane.

Long Term

  • continue to target capacity issues.

Scotland’s Railways is an associated document to the NTS and outlines the Scottish Executive’s aims and objectives for rail services in Scotland. The document / strategy identifies the key challenges facing the rail sector at present and in the future and acknowledges issues arising which have compromised rail’s ability to fulfil the objectives of the Scottish Executive. In the context of the three strategic outcomes detailed in the NTS, Scotland’s Railways sets out specific priorities required to achieve these outcomes.

The document recognises the contribution that rail can make in achieving the high level expectations of the Scottish Executive and sets out an implementation plan to assist in the delivery of the identified priorities. Scotland’s Railways also outlines the Scottish Executive’s aspirations for specific sections of the railway network and details the short, medium and long-term priorities for these sections. The high-level expectations set out in Scotland’s Railways are summarised below.

Summary of High Level Expectations from Scotland’s Railways (Scottish Executive, December 2006):

  • improving journey times and connections
  • timetabling and frequency enhancements to reduce inter-urban journey times;
  • infrastructure enhancements to reduce inter-urban journey times; and
  • maintain current improvements to reliability of services.
  • reducing emissions
  • electrification to minimise emissions and reduce fossil fuel reliance (in some cases may also reduce journey times); and
  • capacity improvements to enable increased passenger numbers and freight volumes.
  • improving quality, accessibility and affordability
  • enhancing integration with other modes;
  • enhancements to stations to improve capacity, passenger experience and to encourage modal shift; and
  • timetable and service enhancements.

Preparing For Tomorrow, Delivering Today: Freight Action Plan For Scotland

Preparing For Tomorrow, Delivering Today: Freight Action Plan For Scotland (Scottish Executive, December 2006) sets out the Scottish Executive’s aims and objectives for the freight industry in Scotland and acts as an associated document to the NTS. The Action Plan supports the NTS and, in turn, the Framework for Economic Development in Scotland, Scotland’s Sustainable Development Strategy, Scotland’s Climate Change Programme and the Air Quality Strategy. As such, the objectives and actions contribute to achieving the key strategic outcomes identified within the NTS:

  • improving journey times and connections;
  • reducing emissions; and
  • improving quality, accessibility and affordability.

The Freight Action Plan for Scotland highlights the importance of freight, stating that "the efficient and competitive movement of goods through the entire supply chain is therefore a key element in meeting consumer demand and supporting and enabling economic growth."

The Action Plan recognises the following trends which impact upon freight movements:

  • globalisation – good internal and external transport links are vital for continued competitiveness and growth;
  • changes within the Scottish economy – freight and logistics connections can play a key role in stimulating Gross Domestic Product growth;
  • changing customer demands – Scottish freight and logistics must be sufficiently resilient and flexible to accommodate changing demand; and
  • restructuring and changes to distribution networks – businesses must continue to innovate to gain competitive advantage.

The Scottish Freight Strategy Scoping Study (SFSSS) (Scottish Executive, 2006), which contributes to the Action Plan, suggested the following:

  • growth in freight traffic over the next 25 years is likely to be much lower than over the past 25 years and take a different form;
  • the volume of timber products is expected to rise - forecast to double in 20 years as forests mature for harvesting;
  • current imbalance of freight tonnes could increase under strong export growth;
  • deliveries such as parcels to business services and online retail goods to households will rise significantly, leading to continued growth in vans under 3.5 tonnes in main residential areas; and
  • there will be a continuing base-load such as building materials for construction and waste for recycling and disposal.

In order to address the above trends and issues, the Action Plan sets out the following vision:

"Working in partnership with business and industry, our vision is for Scotland to be a place where the movement of freight through the entire supply chain is efficient and sustainable, on a transport infrastructure that is integrated and flexible - thus allowing Scotland's businesses to compete and grow in a global economy."

To achieve this vision and taking into account the key trends and issues identified in the SFSSS, the Freight Action Plan focuses on the following aims and objectives:

To enhance Scotland’s competitiveness

  • Balancing freight and non-freight requirements in transport investment;
  • Minimising the negative impact of rising transport costs; and
  • Continued business developments in the freight and logistics sector.

To support the development of the freight industry in Scotland

  • Enhancing the skills and professional image in freight and logistics; and
  • Enabling the Scottish freight industry to compete effectively in the European market.

To maintain and improve the accessibility of rural and remote areas

  • Targeting improvements to road and rail infrastructure;
  • Integrating freight considerations into the provision of lifeline ferry and air services; and
  • Addressing the transport needs of rural business and industry.

To minimise the adverse impact of freight movements on the Environment in particular through the reduction in emission and noise

  • Promoting modal shift to rail and shipping; and
  • Improving efficiency and sustainability of road transport.

To ensure freight transport policy integration

  • Co-ordinating with other policy areas – such as energy policy, land use, waste disposal and regional transport strategies – and between public agencies; and
  • Co-ordinating freight policy with other UK regions.

Summary of High Level Expectations from Preparing For Tomorrow, Delivering Today: Freight Action Plan For Scotland (Scottish Executive, November 2006):

  • enhance Scotland’s competitiveness;
  • support the development of the freight industry in Scotland;
  • minimise the adverse impacts on the environment;
  • maintain and improve accessibility of rural and remote areas; and
  • ensure freight transport policy integration.

Framework for Economic Development in Scotland

The Framework for Economic Development in Scotland (Scottish Executive, 2004) has a clear vision: "to raise the quality of life of the Scottish people through increasing the economic opportunities for all on a socially and environmentally sustainable basis".

The framework sets principal outcome objectives that are fundamental to achieving this vision. These are:

  • economic growth - with growth accelerated and sustained through greater competitiveness in the global economy;
  • regional development - with economic growth a pre-requisite for all regions to enjoy the same economic opportunities and with regional development itself contributing to national economic prosperity;
  • closing the opportunity gap – with economic growth a pre-requisite for all in society to enjoy enhanced economic opportunities and with social development in turn contributing to national economic prosperity; and
  • sustainable development - in economic, social and environmental terms.

Within this Framework, the Scottish Executive has identified five key drivers of economic development that are especially important and to which it will give priority. These are key elements in promoting both private sector and public sector productivity:

  • basic education and skills: crucial to any strategy for economic growth and the bedrock for the foundation of a competitive economy;
  • research and development and innovation: the foundations for improvements in productivity and for sustainable global competitiveness;
  • entrepreneurial dynamism: the creation of new enterprise and a positive, risk taking attitude to enterprise are central to the establishment of a dynamic economy;
  • the electronic and physical infrastructure: joining business to business, consumer to business and ensuring the efficient movement of goods, people and ideas to the right places at the right times; and
  • managing public sector resources more effectively: improving the efficiency and effectiveness with which resources are deployed in the provision of public services.

The Scottish Executive’s high-level transport objective focuses on promoting economic growth by enhancing the effectiveness of the transport network and reducing congestion, with an overarching target to strive to stabilise road traffic at 2001 levels by 2021. The Framework outlines that this will be achieved through investing in an integrated package of measures which include modernising and improving public transport, promoting alternative modes of transport to the private car and targeted motorway and trunk road improvements. The Scottish Executive’s strategy aims to stabilise road traffic levels, while at the same time supporting economic development.

The Framework indicates that the Scottish Executive has identified a key role for public policy in securing a highly efficient transport system that can best promote economic development in its widest sense. It is recognised that four principal elements will address these priorities:

  • improving transport planning and structural landscape. Improvements in the strategic planning and delivery of major transport projects, through the establishment of Transport Scotland, will ensure that the transport network continues to support future economic activities;
  • Investing in transport infrastructure. Future investment in transport infrastructure is central to supporting future economic development by reducing congestion, improving journey time reliability and increasing the travel options available to both individuals and businesses;
  • tackling road traffic congestion in order to help to deliver reliable journey times for all road users. The Scottish Executive will support local authorities who wish to pursue road user charging in order to reduce congestion in their area. Improvements in sustainable transport can help to stimulate modal shift away from the private car towards public transport. In addition, targeted improvements on the motorway and trunk road network will deal with some of the critical congestion spots. The national awareness campaign is also raising awareness of travel issues, promoting public transport and can influence individual travel choice; and
  • improving services for all transport users. Supporting good services at affordable cost, through subsidised ferry and air services, will remain a priority because it is vital to maintaining and improving economic conditions in many rural and island areas of Scotland. The development of concessionary travel schemes for older people initially is increasing accessibility for large sections of society and further extensions to these schemes are planned.

The Framework for Economic Development in Scotland sets out a vision "to raise the quality of life of the Scottish people through increasing the economic opportunities for all on a socially and environmentally sustainable basis". The Framework acknowledges the importance of transport in delivering economic development within Scotland plc by improving, investing and delivering a transport network for all. The high-level expectations detailed in the Framework for Economic Development in Scotland are summarised below.

Summary of High Level from Expectations from Framework for Economic Development in Scotland (Scottish Executive, September 2004):

  • improve transport planning and structural landscape;
  • invest in transport infrastructure;
  • tackle road traffic congestion in order to help to deliver reliable journey times for all road users; and
  • improve services for all transport users.

National Planning Framework for Scotland

The National Planning Framework for Scotland (NPFS) (Scottish Executive, April 2004) is a Framework to guide the spatial development of Scotland to 2025. The NPFS sets out a vision of Scotland in which other plans and programmes can share and to which they can contribute.

The NPFS complements the Scottish Executive’s Framework for Economic Development in Scotland (2004), highlighting the importance of place and identifying priorities for investment in strategic infrastructure to enable each part of the country to play to its strengths in "building a Scotland which is competitive, fair and sustainable".

The NPFS outlines the following aims for Scotland’s spatial development to 2025:

  • increase economic growth and competitiveness;
  • promote social and environmental justice; and
  • promote sustainable development and protect and enhance the quality of natural and built environments.

In order to fulfil the above aims, the key elements of the NPFS to 2025 are as follows:

  • support the development of Scotland’s cities as the main drivers of the economy;
  • spread the benefits of economic activity by promoting environmental quality and connectivity;
  • enable the most disadvantaged communities to benefit from growth and opportunity;
  • strengthen external links;
  • promote economic diversification and environmental stewardship;
  • highlight long-term transport options and promote more sustainable patterns of transport and land use;
  • invest in water and drainage infrastructure to support development;
  • realise the potential of Scotland’s renewable energy resources;
  • provide the facilities to meet waste recycling targets; and
  • extend broadband coverage in every area of Scotland.

The NPFS recognises cities as the hubs of wider regional economies and that their surrounding towns and rural areas can offer attractive locations for a wide range of economic activities. As a basis for prioritising investment, Scottish Enterprise has identified business locations which have the potential to become the focus for key industries and clusters. These locations can be grouped into the following broad economic development zones:

  • Clyde Corridor;
  • Lanarkshire;
  • Central Ayrshire;
  • Central Scotland;
  • West Edinburgh/South Fife;
  • Lothian;
  • Dundee;
  • Aberdeen.

The NPFS outlines that to be successful, economic development zones will require to have good links to the rest of Scotland and the wider world. The strategic business locations which they contain will need to be well connected with each other and readily accessible from residential areas. It will be important to ensure that people in areas undergoing community regeneration enjoy good access to the opportunities being created in strategic business locations. It is recognised that if Scotland is to be attractive as a business location and tourism destination, high quality environments and good transport interchange facilities at air, rail and sea gateways will require to be promoted.

It is further recognised that to compete successfully in the world economy, Scotland requires a modern, flexible and well-integrated transport system with high quality links to the rest of the UK, Europe and the world. There is a need to make good past deficiencies in the provision of transport infrastructure.

In terms of the road network, the NPFS outlines that the focus over the next ten years will be on completing the remaining gaps and using the existing network more efficiently. West Edinburgh is outlined as being the main gateway to Scotland’s capital and the West Edinburgh/South Fife area has been identified as a key economic development zone. Mitigating the adverse impacts of committed developments and realising the opportunities for airport expansion are key challenges.

The NPFS makes reference to a number of parallel studies and reports, including the West Edinburgh Planning Framework (WEPF) which addresses issues of congestion, the integration of land use and transport and the provision of modern transport infrastructure at a strategic location of national importance.

Figure 2 - Main focus of Planning Framework (source: West Edinburgh Planning Framework, 2003)

image of Figure 2 - Main focus of Planning Framework (source: West Edinburgh Planning Framework, 2003)

The WEPF highlights the unique opportunity which West Edinburgh offers as an international business location. Objectives include:

  • realising the potential of the area for high quality economic development;
  • providing a rail link to the airport;
  • creating a high quality transport interchange at the airport;
  • introducing a rapid transit tram service; and
  • Maintaining the strategic role of Edinburgh’s Green Belt.

In the Edinburgh city region priority is being given to developing the relationship of the locations which make up the Lothian Science Zone and improving the connectivity of the gateway facilities at Edinburgh Airport, Grangemouth and Rosyth. The M9 Spur is currently being extended to provide a direct connection between the Forth Road Bridge and the M8/M9.

The NPFS outlines that strengthening rail and road links north of the Forth will ease congestion on routes farther south, support the developing gateway role of Rosyth and help to create a more attractive freight route between Ireland and the Continent. Stirling, Falkirk and Grangemouth are key centres in the Central Scotland economic development zone. Across the Central Belt there is a need to improve public transport and interchange facilities. The towns of the Central Belt need good public transport links to Glasgow and Edinburgh to provide access to jobs and city facilities and to make them attractive locations for new business investment.

The publication of the NPFS marks the start of a process of engagement and debate on Scotland’s long-term spatial development. It is intended that the NPFS will be updated every four years. The NPFS will be taken forward through a number of mechanisms including:

  • investing in transport, water and drainage and telecommunications infrastructure;
  • strengthening the grid, setting targets and preparing action plans to support renewable energy development;
  • progressing the West Edinburgh Planning Framework and the regeneration of the Clyde Waterfront and Clyde Gateway; and
  • the review of strategic transport projects and the use of modelling and other appraisal tools to assess policy and project options.

The NPFS sets out a framework to guide the spatial development of Scotland to 2025 which will inform a number of national, regional and local policies. The NPFS identifies specific economic development zones and highlights the importance of ensuring that they are well connected and readily accessible. The NPFS makes specific mention of the West Edinburgh Planning Framework which highlights the potential of West Edinburgh as an international business location. The NPFS includes several mode-specific policies, focusing on completing the gaps in the road network and using the network more efficiently, strengthening road and rail links north of the Forth and improving public transport and interchange facilities across the Central Belt. The high-level expectations outlined within the NPFS are summarised below.

Summary of High Level Expectations from National Planning Framework for Scotland (Scottish Executive, April 2004):

  • To support the development of Scotland’s cities as the main drivers of the economy;
  • To spread the benefits of economic activity by promoting environmental quality and connectivity;
  • To enable the most disadvantaged communities to benefit from growth and opportunity;
  • To strengthen external links;
  • To highlight long-term transport options and promote more sustainable patterns of transport and land use; and
  • To extend broadband coverage in every area of Scotland.

SEStran RTS

The SEStran RTS (Draft For Consultation, SEStran, October 2006) provides a framework which will guide the future management of and investment in, transport for the SEStran area over the next 10-15 years. The SEStran area comprises eight constituent local authorities: City of Edinburgh, Clackmannanshire, East Lothian, Falkirk, Fife, Midlothian, Scottish Borders and West Lothian and is illustrated within Figure 3 on the following page.

Figure 3 - SEStran area map (source: SEStran RTS, Draft For Consultation, October 2006)

image of Figure 3 - SEStran area map (source: SEStran RTS, Draft For Consultation, October 2006)

SEStran’s draft RTS sets out a long-term vision for the region, thus "South East Scotland is a dynamic and growing area which aspires to become one of northern Europe's leading economic regions. Essential to this is the development of a transport system which enables businesses to function effectively, allows all groups in society to share in the region’s success through high quality access to services and opportunities, respects the environment, and contributes to better health."

To achieve the long-term vision, the RTS has identified several objectives. These have been developed in the context of the issues which emerged from consultation with stakeholders. Four main themes of objectives and sub-objectives have been developed and these are consistent with the Government’s objectives of Environment, Safety, Economy, Integration and Accessibility / Social Inclusion. To ensure that these are achieved, SEStran have also defined targets relating to each specific objective. Objectives, sub-objectives and targets are outlined below:

Economy - To ensure transport facilitates economic growth, regional prosperity and vitality in a sustainable manner:

  • to maintain and improve labour market accessibility to key business/ employment locations.

Over the period of the RTS a 10 per cent increase in labour market catchment (within 30 minutes and within 60 minutes) for selected locations within the following key employment locations: Edinburgh city centre; Gyle; Edinburgh Park; Edinburgh Airport; Livingston; Glenrothes; Leith Waterfront - Victoria Quay; and Edinburgh Royal Infirmary / Mediparc.

  • to maintain and improve connectivity to the rest of Scotland, the UK and beyond.

Over the period of the RTS, stabilise and reduce time lost due to congestion across the SEStran trunk road network.

  • to support other strategies, particularly land use planning and economic development.

Demonstrate progress in collaborative working between SEStran, planning authorities and economic development agencies.

  • to reduce the negative impacts of congestion, in particular to improve journey time reliability for passengers and freight.

Reduce ‘car driver’ mode share for travel to work from 61.5 per cent to 55.5 per cent over the period of the RTS.

Accessibility - To improve accessibility for those with limited transport choice or no access to a car, particularly those who live in rural areas:

  • to improve access to employment.

For deprived communities and those with low levels of car ownership, improve access (by public transport) to employment by an average of at least 10 per cent.

  • to improve access to health facilities.

Reduce the proportion of no-car households with poor access (i.e. greater than 60 minutes) to defined key hospitals by 50 per cent over the period of the RTS.

  • to improve access to other services, such as retailing, leisure and education.

Reduce the proportion of no-car households with poor access (i.e. greater than 45 minutes) to defined further education colleges, job centres and regional shopping centres and key hospitals by 20 per cent over the period of the RTS.

  • to make public transport more affordable and socially inclusive.

By, or before the end of, the RTS ensure that all DDA requirements regarding accessible buses and associated measures are met.

Reduce fare ‘anomalies’ in the SEStran area and achieve a real terms reductions in fares by the end of the RTS period.

Environment - To ensure that development is achieved in an environmentally sustainable manner:

  • to contribute to the achievement of the UK's national targets and obligations on greenhouse gas emissions.

Progress should be made at the SEStran level towards the Scottish Executive’s aspirational target of a return to 2001 traffic levels by 2021

  • to minimise the negative impacts of transport on natural and cultural resources.

No target possible

  • to promote more sustainable travel.

Reduce ‘car driver’ share for travel to work from 61.5 per cent to 55.5 per cent over the period of the RTS.

  • to reduce the need to travel.

To stabilise and reduce the number of trips per person per year made using ‘motorised’ modes, by 5 per cent over the period of the RTS.

  • to reduce the dependency on the private car.

Reduce ‘car driver’ share for travel to work from 61.5 per cent to 55.5 per cent over the period of the RTS.

Safety and Health - To promote a healthier and more active SEStran area population:

  • to improve safety (accidents) and personal security.

By 2010, to reduce killed and seriously injured (KSI) casualties by 40 per cent and child KSIs by 50 per cent on a 1994-98 base.

Over the period of the strategy, a 20 per cent reduction in pedestrian and cyclist KSIs per trip made.

Over the period of the strategy, a 2 per cent improvement in the perception of the safety of travel by bus in SEStran.

  • to increase the proportion of trips by walk / cycle.

Reduce ‘car driver’ share for travel to work from 61.5 per cent to 55.5 per cent over the period of the RTS.

Over the period of the NTS, a 5 per cent point increase in walking and cycling mode share for all trips, SEStran-wide (1.5 per cent after five years).

  • to meet or better all statutory air quality requirements.

To meet these requirements by 2010 or before.

  • to reduce the impacts of transport noise.

Pending the outcome of Scottish Executive’s ‘noise mapping’F6F.

Specifically on the Forth Road Bridge, SEStran’s draft RTS notes increasing problems relating to traffic levels and the deterioration of Forth Road Bridge:

"The Forth Road Bridge is widely recognised to be carrying traffic loads well in excess for which it was designed (in fact around double), currently around 65,000 vehicles per day. This, coupled with the age of the Bridge and the identification of corrosion in key structural elements places the long term future capacity of the Bridge in some doubt."

The southbound approaches to the Bridge (M90 Junction 4, A92 Cowdenbeath to Forth Road Bridge) are identified as being amongst the most congested sections of the transport network in the SEStran area.

The draft RTS highlights opportunities relating to cross-Forth travel, including:

  • the new rail link between Stirling and Alloa which will provide new passenger services and also free up capacity on the Forth Bridge, as coal trains to Longannet power station divert to the new line;
  • the Ferrytoll park and ride site has proved enormously successful and car parking provision is being increased; and
  • the possibilities for the use of smart card technology as a means of payment on the Forth Road Bridge and also for car parking at stations.

The SEStran draft RTS also recommends specific options for the Forth Road Bridge which include:

  • outbound bus priority on the A90, with queue relocation similar to that operating city bound, allowing buses to avoid queues en route to the tolls;
  • Ferrytoll access A90 measures;
  • any new Forth crossing should allow for specific bus lanes, with priority also in bridgehead areas;
  • some Fife to Edinburgh train fares have been identified as high compared with other fares. This will be reviewed and SEStran will seek to bring these into line with other comparable fares;
  • the proposed cross-Forth Ferry could help this corridor, depending on ‘landside’ connections;
  • Network Rail’s Rail Utilisation Strategy proposes to re-structure the Fife line and Aberdeen services – this is supported;
  • traffic flows on the Forth Road Bridge are often near capacity. Controlling access to the Bridge and its approaches could increase the efficiency of flow by stopping flow levels reaching ‘unstable’ levels. The case for ‘ramp metering’ will be considered; and
  • high occupancy vehicle lanes can help to reduce the number of ‘car driver’ trips, in line with the mode share targets. The case for HOV lanes in the Fife – Edinburgh corridor will be considered.

The draft RTS highlights the requirement for a solution to the deterioration of the Forth Road Bridge: "Any significant restriction placed on the use of the current Bridge (e.g. HGV ban) would have a severe and detrimental impact on the SEStran economy. It would also have a major impact on the diversionary routes."

SEStran supports a sustainable solution to the problem of the deteriorating condition of the present Bridge and states that:

"Any new crossing should be constructed to allow for future tram (and if possible heavy rail) use."

In the situation that an additional (rather than replacement) crossing, is provided, SEStran recommends that:

  • the combination of old and new crossings should provide no more than two lanes in each direction available to single-occupant cars;
  • all new traffic lanes across the Forth need to be dedicated to buses and high occupancy vehicles (HOVs). Consideration will be given to the possibility of allowing HGVs to access these lanes;
  • separate running lanes for the mixed use of buses, HOVs and possibly HGVs should be considered, but as far as possible flexibility should be maintained to enable full vehicle carrying capacity for traffic during periods of Bridge maintenance; and
  • the promoter should be required to put in place a demand management and investment package that will seek to ensure that traffic in Edinburgh will remain at or below the levels that would have been forecast without an additional crossing."

The draft RTS also identifies measures which are classed as "region wide", thus they are not necessarily geographically specific in the way that infrastructure or transport services are. Of particular relevance to this report are region-wide initiatives for demand management, particularly in relation to tolls. It is recognised within the RTS that variable Bridge charges would attempt to smooth demand for travel across the Forth Road Bridge by charging more at peak times and less off-peak and differentiating between single and multi-occupant vehicles. However, such charging is not considered a priority within the draft RTS document.

In terms of public transport, the draft RTS states: "An additional crossing at Queensferry creates significant opportunities for the development of public transport in the area, both cross-Forth and in the bridgehead areas. SEStran will seek to use these opportunities to maximise public transport use in the corridor, in terms of bus, guided bus and light rail networks."

The draft SEStran RTS provides a framework to guide the management of and investment in, transport in the SEStran region over the next 10-15 years. The SEStran RTS sets out its own vision for transport in South East Scotland and outlines a number of objectives required to achieve this. SEStran’s overarching objectives are consistent with those of the Government (environment, economy, safety, integration and accessibility / social inclusion) and a number of sub-objectives and targets have been set to ensure these objectives are achieved. The draft RTS specifically examines issues relating to the Forth Road Bridge, highlighting existing problems and opportunities. The RTS recommends specific options for the Forth Road Bridge and details specific criteria for a replacement crossing. The high level expectations set out in SEStran’s RTS are summarised below.

Summary of High Level Expectations from SEStran RTS (Draft For Consultation, SEStran, October 2006):

The draft RTS outlines various overarching and sub-objectives that are applicable to this study. Specific Forth Road Bridge Options are:

  • Edinburgh bus priority on the A90, with queue relocation similar to that operating city bound, allowing buses to avoid queues en route to the tolls;
  • Ferrytoll access A90 measures;
  • any new Forth crossing should allow for specific bus lanes, with priority also in bridgehead areas;
  • some Fife – Edinburgh train fares have been identified as high compared with other fares. This will be reviewed and SEStran will seek to bring these into line with other comparable fares;
  • the proposed cross-Forth Ferry could help this corridor, depending on ‘landside’ connections;
  • Network Rail’s Rail Utilisation Strategy proposes to re-structure the Fife line and Aberdeen services – this is supported;
  • traffic flows on the Forth Road Bridge are often near capacity. Controlling access to the Bridge and its approaches could increase the efficiency of flow by stopping flow levels reaching ‘unstable’ levels. The case for ‘ramp metering’ will be considered.
  • high occupancy vehicle lanes can help to reduce the number of ‘car driver’ trips, in line with the mode share targets. The case for HOV lanes in the Fife – Edinburgh corridor will be considered.

TACTRAN RTS

The TACTRAN area covers the Angus, Dundee, Perth and Kinross and Stirling Council areas. TACTRAN intends to complete and submit its finalised RTS to the Transport Minister for approval by 31 March 2007.

Within the TACTRAN RTS Issues and Objectives Report (TACTRAN, September 2006), TACTRAN have agreed upon an overall vision for the RTP: "a transport system, shaped by engagement with its citizens, which helps deliver prosperity and connects communities across the region and beyond, which is socially inclusive and environmentally sustainable and which promotes the health and well-being of all".

In order to achieve this vision, TACTRAN have identified the following over-arching objectives:

  • to ensure transport helps to deliver regional prosperity;
  • to improve accessibility for all, particularly for those suffering from social exclusion;
  • to ensure that the transport system contributes to safeguarding the environment and promotes opportunities for improvement;
  • to promote the health and well-being of communities;
  • to improve the real and perceived safety and security of the transport network; and
  • to improve integration, both within transport and between transport and other policy areas.

To achieve these high level over-arching objectives, TACTRAN have developed the following specific aims to meet the overall vision.

Economy:

  • to ensure that transport infrastructure and services in the region help deliver economic growth, particularly in key business and employment sectors; and
  • to improve the efficiency, reliability and integration of the movement of goods and people.

Accessibility, Equity and Social Inclusion:

  • to improve access to employment;
  • to improve access to public services, including health and education;
  • to improve access to retail, recreation and leisure facilities;
  • to reduce severance and social and economic isolation caused by transport, or by a lack of it; and
  • to improve the accessibility and inclusiveness of the transport system.

Environment:

  • to contribute to the achievement of the Scottish national targets and obligations on greenhouse gas emissions;
  • to promote a transport system that respects both the natural and the built environment;
  • to promote a shift towards more sustainable modes; and
  • to help meet or better all statutory air quality requirements in the TACTRAN area.

Health and Well-Being:

  • to promote a culture of active and healthy travel; and
  • to improve transport-related safety.

Safety and Security:

  • to improve real or perceived levels of personal security on the transport network.

Integration:

  • to improve integration of the transport modes;
  • to ensure integration with land use planning; and
  • to ensure a fit with other relevant national, regional and local strategies and policies.

The TACTRAN RTS Issues and Objectives Report highlights several opportunities in relation to the transport network which may impact upon this study:

  • additional cross-Forth rail paths (following the transfer of freight to the Stirling Alloa Kincardine rail-line and likely signalling enhancements on the Forth Bridge) which will facilitate the provision of increased rail frequency to the south and also to the north (by extension of some or all of the relevant additional services from the south); and
  • the Edinburgh Airport Rail Link (EARL) which will provide improved rail links from the region to Edinburgh Airport, overcoming many of the problems associated with traffic congestion between the TACTRAN region and Edinburgh Airport.

The TACTRAN RTS sets out a vision for the future development of the transport system in the TACTRAN area. To achieve this vision, the RTS outlines six key objectives, consistent with those of the Scottish Executive but with an added regional dimension. Within each broad objective, TACTRAN’s RTS outlines a number of specific aims which will combine to achieve the overall vision. The RTS also highlights several specific transport opportunities which affect the Forth Road Bridge including additional cross-Forth rail paths and the proposed Edinburgh Airport Rail Link. The high level expectations outlined in TACTRAN’s RTS are summarised below.

Summary of High Level Expectations from RTS Issues and Objectives Report (TACTRAN, September 2006):

  • deliver regional prosperity;
  • improve accessibility for all and reduce social exclusion;
  • safeguard and improve the environment;
  • promote health and well-being of communities;
  • improve safety and security of the transport network;
  • improve integration, within transport and between transport and other policy areas; and
  • increased Cross-Forth rail paths which will facilitate the provision of increased rail frequency to the south and to the north of the TACTRANS area;

FETA Local Transport Strategy

FETA published its LTS in June 2005. FETA is a partnership organisation comprising representatives of Fife, Edinburgh, West Lothian and Perth and Kinross Councils. FETA is responsible for the management, maintenance and operation of the Forth Road Bridge. It is also within FETA’s remit to develop measures which reduce traffic congestion on the Bridge or encourage use of public transport. FETA’s LTS covers the period from 2005 to 2020/21.

The LTS examines the issues and opportunities associated with the Forth Road Bridge and identifies the following:

  • Traffic Growth. In the last three years traffic has increased by 2.0 per cent, 3.4 per cent and 2.7 per cent respectively, resulting in the current level of 24 million vehicle trips per year. It is considered that the practical capacity of the Bridge is 22 million vehicles a year. The Bridge is therefore currently operating beyond its practical capacity and traffic growth is continuing unabatedF7F;
  • Peak Spreading. In the two years from 2002, based on hourly traffic data counts, there has been an increase of 12 per cent in the volume of traffic travelling in the south bound direction between 06:00 hours and 07:00 hours. This is above the background general traffic growth of just over 5 per cent in the two years. In the north bound direction there has been an increase of 8 per cent between 07:00 hours and 08:00 hours;
  • Congestion and Queuing. In the AM peak there is congestion on the southbound direction over the Forth Road Bridge created by the volume of traffic using the signals at Echline Roundabout towards the A8000. The queues begin forming from 06:30 hours, peaking around 07:30-08:00 hours whereby queues back past Masterton are regularly experienced. Queuing south of the Bridge during the evening peak hour is also a key problem for commuters. The major queues occur on the A8000 and to a lesser extent on the A90 and the A904 approaches to the toll plaza;
  • Safety. The operation of the toll plaza both to and particularly from, the tolls creates the potential for traffic incidents as traffic crosses from lane to lane. The operation of the northbound approach to the toll plaza is considered to create a high incidence of merging and weaving as traffic seeks to join the shortest queue. On departure from the tolls there is a merging of vehicles from the seven toll booths into two lanes over the Bridge;
  • Vehicle Occupancy. SEStran’s Integrated Corridor Study (SITCoS) has identified that over 70 per cent of cars have a single occupant at peak times. Measures to increase levels of car occupancy (for example Park and Ride; Park and Choose; commuter travel plans, or differential tolling) are considered to increase the efficiency of the Bridge to carry a greater number of person trips; and
  • Heavy Goods Vehicles (HGVs). From 01 February 2001 the weight limit for HGVs was increased to 44 tonnes. This increase aimed to reduce lorry miles, therefore reducing congestion and emissions. However, this increase in load has resulted in a detrimental impact on the Bridge wearing surface, resulting in a requirement for re-surfacing on a more regular basis than was undertaken previously.

In order to address the above issues, FETA’s LTS sets out a vision of "reliable, integrated, safe and sustainable travel choices across the Forth for both strategic and local journeys, making optimum use of the Forth Crossings and other associated transport infrastructure".

The aim of the LTS is to "reduce traffic congestion, increase the use of public transport and provide funding to ensure that the M9/A8000 project is delivered."

In working towards this vision and aim FETA has established two strategic aspirations for the next 10-20 years:

  • greater accessibility across the Forth for strategic movements to support a vibrant Scottish economy and promote strategic investment; and
  • more sustainable and reliable patterns of local movements across the Forth which can continue to support local and regional economies.

The objectives of the LTS will assist in meeting these strategic aspirations and are as follows:

  • to maintain and operate the Forth Road Bridge and to do so in the most effective manner and to minimise inconvenience to users;
  • to optimise the potential number of public transport person trips across the Forth;
  • to increase car occupancy across the Forth Road Bridge;
  • to reduce congestion levels on the Forth Road Bridge and minimise environmental, safety and social impacts of traffic on local communities;
  • to improve journey times and reliability for sustainable transport modes;
  • to increase the range of cross-Forth journeys for which public transport can be an attractive option; and
  • to improve integration between transport modes for cross-Forth travel to provide seamless journey opportunities.

It is considered that significant investment in public transport and measures to promote car sharing will result in increased car occupancy, improved journey times and effectively integrated public transport. To achieve these aspirations FETA recognise a requirement to implement an appropriate charging regime.

FETA’s LTS identifies the problems currently affecting the Forth Road Bridge and sets out a vision aimed at reducing congestion and increasing public transport use on the Forth Road Bridge. In order to achieve this vision FETA’s LTS establishes two strategic aspirations and a number of objectives aimed at achieving these. The LTS considers change in the tolling regime to be a necessity if FETA’s vision and objectives are to be achieved. The high-level expectations outlined in the LTS are summarised below.

Summary of High Level Expectations from FETA LTS (FETA, June 2005):

  • increase accessibility across the Forth;
  • support a vibrant Scottish economy;
  • promote strategic investment;
  • encourage sustainable movements across the Forth, for example multiple occupancy vehicles and public transport use;
  • improve journey times and reliability for sustainable transport modes;
  • maintain and operate the Forth Road Bridge and minimise inconvenience for users;
  • reduce congestion and minimise environmental, safety and social impacts of traffic on local communities; and
  • improve integration between public transport modes for cross-Forth journeys.

SITCoS Report

The SITCoS report (SEStran, 2005) provides details of integrated transport corridor studies undertaken on five corridors around Edinburgh and the Forth valley. The corridors are:

  • Linlithgow;
  • Queensferry Cross Forth;
  • East Lothian (Rail);
  • A702 Pentlands; and
  • Kincardine.

The study defines a number of over-arching planning objectives for the corridors, against which proposals can be evaluated. The objectives set out in the SITCoS report are:

  • reduce the number of people commuting in single occupancy vehicles in South East Scotland – especially for journeys to and from Edinburgh; but also for journeys outwith the SEStran area;
  • minimise the overall need for travel, particularly by car;
  • maximise public transport provision and achieve public transport integration and inter-modality;
  • improve safety for all road and transport users;
  • enhance community life and social inclusion;
  • maintain existing infrastructure properly in order that it can be fully utilised;
  • enhance movements of freight specially by rail and other non-road modes; and
  • sustain the economic health of the SEStran region.

The SITCoS report was published in 2005 and predates SEStran’s RTS. The above objectives were intended to mirror those in SEStran’s RTS. Subsequent publication of SEStran’s RTS shows that the objectives are broadly similar to those above.

For the purposes of this report, the Queensferry Cross Forth corridor is considered to be the most relevant. The Queensferry Cross Forth corridor comprises south Fife, the Forth Bridges, West Lothian and west and central Edinburgh. This encompasses the north-western quadrant of Edinburgh’s journey-to-work zone including West Edinburgh, South Queensferry, Inverkeithing, Rosyth and Dunfermline.

The Queensferry Cross Forth Corridor Study highlights several existing and future transport problems in the corridor which are outlined below:

  • increasing demand for Cross Forth movement of people and goods;
  • increasing economic activity in the Edinburgh area, particularly around West Edinburgh;
  • continuing development of housing in south Fife without adequate sustainable transport infrastructure;
  • increasing scarcity of road space;
  • over-crowded peak-hour trains;
  • inadequate interchange opportunities and capacities in Fife;
  • restricted rail capacity (frequency and train length); and
  • congested roads, resulting in delays, particularly for buses.

In addition to the generic objectives set out within the SITCoS report, the following objectives have been derived specifically with regards to the Queensferry Cross Forth corridor:

  • to stabilise (in the short term) and improve (in the long term) accessibility to cross Forth movement for people and goods; and
  • ensure land use planning is integrated with transport plans.

The SITCoS report outlines the disbenfits associated with failing to provide long-term enhanced Cross Forth capacity, as follows:

  • high peak tolls to discourage peak hour use of the Forth Road BridgeF8F;
  • restrictions on any bridgehead economic development that places additional stress on Cross Forth travel;
  • increasing peak period delays for travellers and deteriorating reliability;
  • further peak spreading;
  • difficulty in conducting even routine maintenance on the Forth Road Bridge;
  • considerable traveller disbenefits; and
  • possible adverse impacts on the SEStran economy.

In order to address the identified problems, the study appraised four broad packages of measures in line with the Scottish Executive’s Scottish Transport Appraisal Guidance (STAG). The four packages can be summarised as follows:

  • bus priority and HOV lanes;
  • improved heavy rail services;
  • extension of Edinburgh Trams across the Forth; and
  • construction of a new Forth Road Bridge.

Following the appraisal process, the following short, medium and long-term recommendations were identified:

Short-Term Recommendations

  • implement new measures to make public transport more attractive;
  • provide new bus-based park and choose site at Halbeath and extend Rosyth into Park and Choose location;
  • provide a newly constructed southbound HOV lane between Halbeath and the Northern Bridgehead;
  • introduce "quick win" bus priority measures in Fife on A907, A823 and around Rosyth;
  • procure additional bus services on cross-Forth routes;
  • improve the integration of bus and rail in Fife including enhanced local bus feeders to key rail stations including Halbeath, Rosyth and Dalgety Bay; and
  • make those land reservations required to support future plans (for example Dunfermline South Station).

Medium-Term Recommendations

  • revised rail patterns to maximise use of cross-Forth rail capacity including "splitting the circle" to provide enhanced services throughout Fife and providing two additional trains per hour, both operating via Edinburgh Airport;
  • support for Park and Choose at key locations: Inverkeithing (extension of car park including access road), Ferrytoll (including the new overspill site) and Dalgety Bay, in addition to the site at Halbeath featured in the short term recommendations;
  • completion of the bus "right of way" network between Fife and Edinburgh, predominantly bus priority work on the A90 south of the Forth; and
  • should demand continue to rise then toll-related demand management strategies would be considered as part of a medium-term strategy.

Long-Term Strategy

The long-term strategy recommended by the study is to supplement the short and medium-term strategies with demand management measures and the provision of a multi-modal crossing with two new road lanes in each direction giving a total of four lanes each way (including the existing Forth Road Bridge). For each direction, two of these lanes would be dedicated to HOVs leaving two lanes to general traffic as present.

The SITCoS report provides details of the Queensferry cross-Forth integrated transport corridor study. The report highlights a number of existing and future problems affecting the Queensferry corridor and outlines several objectives aimed at relieving them. The SITCoS report recognises the need to provide increased cross-Forth capacity and details the disbenefits of a failure to do so. The report concludes with a number of short, medium and long-term recommendations. The high-level expectations outlined in the SITCoS report are summarised below.

Summary of High Level Expectations from SITCoS Report (SEStran, September 2005):

  • to stabilise and improve accessibility to cross Forth movement for people and goods;
  • ensure land use planning is integrated with transport plans.
  • revised rail patterns to maximise use of cross-Forth rail capacity;
  • support for Park and Choose at key locations;
  • completion of the bus "right of way" network between Fife and Edinburgh;
  • potential for toll-related demand management strategies and
  • a long-term strategy of demand management measures and the provision of a multi-modal crossing.

West Edinburgh Planning Framework

The WEPF document (Consultative Draft, Scottish Executive, November 2006) sets out proposals for future land-use and transport proposals for the area around Sighthill, Gogar, the Highland Showground and the Airport.

The WEPF outlines the importance of West Edinburgh as a gateway to Scotland and one of the most important economic development areas in Scotland. The 2006 strategic objectives for a vision for West Edinburgh include:

  • implementation of structure plan for development areas;
  • sustainable growth of Edinburgh Airport in accordance with Air Transport White Paper;
  • relocation of Royal Highland Centre to a site south of the A8;
  • allocation, preparation and promotion of sites for high quality, high value international business development;
  • allocation, preparation and promotion of sites on Eastfield Road for high quality airport related hotel development;
  • introduction of tram and rail links, a high quality transport interchange at Edinburgh airport and two new local access roads to Edinburgh Airport;and
  • management of public transport, road traffic, parking and planned new road links in an integrated system with no net detriment to the free flow of motorway and trunk road traffic.

The WEPF highlights issues relating to development pressure and transport constraints in the area and sets out a number of requirements necessary for West Edinburgh to realise its full potential as a driver of the Scottish economy and a high quality gateway to the world.

Summary of High Level Expectations from West Edinburgh Planning Framework (Consultative Draft, Scottish Executive, November 2006):

  • improved public transport accessibility and management of road congestion likely to be caused by development already committed in West Edinburgh and beyond;
  • sustainable airport expansion subject to improved surface access;
  • a redefinition of the boundaries of Edinburgh’s Green Belt in the A8/Airport corridor;
  • environmental enhancements throughout the area; and
  • development of selected sites for high quality international business development served by a high quality transport system.

Edinburgh and the Lothians Structure Plan 2015

The Edinburgh and the Lothians Structure Plan 2015 was prepared by the City of Edinburgh Council, East Lothian Council, Midlothian Council and West Lothian Council. It was approved by Scottish Ministers on the 17 June 2004.

The Structure Plan sets out the long-term vision for the development of land in Edinburgh and the Lothians. It provides the broad framework for local plans, which contain more detailed and site specific policies. The overarching aim of the Structure Plan is to "provide in full for the development needs of Edinburgh and the Lothians in accordance with the principle of sustainable development, whilst maintaining and enhancing the environmental heritage that underpins the areas quality of life."

The following strategic objectives are set out in order to encourage a more sustainable pattern of development:

maintaining and enhancing economic competitiveness

  • identify the main economic growth sectors that will require land for their future development;
  • identify strategic employment locations which are, or can be made, highly accessible by foot, cycle and public transport;
  • identify new transport infrastructure required to support the local economy;
  • provide an adequate supply of housing to meet the growing number of households; and
  • maintain and enhance the area’s quality of life as defined by the built and natural environment.

promoting a more inclusive society

  • provide a strategic context for investment in the regeneration of disadvantaged urban areas;
  • increase access to employment opportunities through a more balanced distribution of employment land, giving preference to locations for new development with easy access by foot, cycle and public transport;
  • increase access to housing by enabling local plans, where appropriate, to require the provision of affordable housing; and
  • increase access to shopping and leisure facilities by giving preference to locations for new development with easy access by foot, cycle and public transport.

protecting and enhancing the natural and built environment

  • maintain a continuous Green Belt around the City;
  • ensure that, where possible, brownfield land is developed in preference to greenfield land;
  • protect and enhance important landscape settings of settlements and areas of urban green space;
  • protect the natural environment from inappropriate or damaging development;
  • protect the built and historic environment from over-development "town cramming") and promote high standards of design in new development; and
  • safeguard mineral resources and facilitate their extraction with minimal environmental impact.

integrating land use and transport

  • locate new development so as to reduce the need to travel, particularly by private car;
  • reduce commuting to Edinburgh from the landward Council areas;
  • maximise accessibility for all in the community by foot, cycle and public transport; and
  • identify new transport infrastructure required to support the development strategy.

The high-level expectations outlined in the Edinburgh and the Lothians Structure Plan 2015 are summarised below.

Summary of High Level Expectations from Edinburgh and the Lothians Structure Plan 2015 (City of Edinburgh Council, East Lothian Council, Midlothian Council and West Lothian Council, June 2004):

  • maintaining and enhancing economic competitiveness;
  • promoting a more inclusive society;
  • protecting and enhancing the natural and built environment; and
  • integrating land use and transport.

Fife Structure Plan

The Finalised Fife Structure Plan (Fife Council, April 2006) sets out strategic land use challenges for Fife communities and is the key land use planning document for directing and managing growth and change throughout the area.

The Fife Structure Plan outlines a vision for Fife in 2026:

"A location of first choice in east central Scotland to live, work, play, learn and invest. An attractive place, with thriving and sustainable communities and a diverse environment. An area with a growing population which has reached at least 375,000 and is still expanding. A place where people can achieve their full potential through education, skills and career development".

To achieve the above vision, the Fife Structure Plan sets out a number of strategic objectives:

Growing Fife’s Economy and Increasing its Population

  • to support the development of a new multimodal Forth crossing at Queensferry to enhance the national and Edinburgh City Region economies;
  • to grow the housing market in Mid Fife;
  • to assist the transition to a broader economic base with significant growth in service sector employment;
  • to develop a Coastal Development Zone along the North Forth coastline from Rosyth to Leven, linking significant brownfield regeneration opportunities at Inverkeithing Bay and Methil with new proposed Strategic Development Areas at Levenmouth and Kirkcaldy East and West;
  • to support and strengthen the rural economy by encouraging its diversification;
  • to support commercialisation of the higher education sector, in particular to capitalise on the knowledge economy and promote opportunities;
  • to attract a new higher education campus to substantially enhance the number of residents holding a degree;
  • to guide inward migration to Mid Fife in particular, to halt and reverse net out migration and to assist in regenerating Mid Fife in accordance with the National Planning Framework;
  • to focus major development on public transport interchanges and town centres well served by public transport and to increase development densities in these areas;
  • to attract inward investment through skilled labour, a range of high quality land and premises, good accessibility and a very attractive environment;
  • to continue to develop Rosyth Waterfront as an international port, transport hub and economic growth area;
  • to focus retail growth in Dunfermline and Kirkcaldy as sub-regional centres and Glenrothes and Cupar as district town centres in particular and consolidate growth in other town centres;
  • to further develop St Andrews as a high quality tourist destination and to build on the tourism industry throughout Fife;
  • to provide a choice of quality housing as well as providing for a choice of different locations, prices and tenures, from affordable housing to the high end of the market;
  • to provide an attractive range of employment sites throughout Fife, including major land releases; and
  • to grow the energy sector with a focus on the Renewable Energy Park at Methil and the Green Energy Park at Westfield.

Improving Accessibility

  • to maximise the efficient use of existing Forth and Tay crossings through supporting increased modal shift to public transport and car share;
  • to support the development of a new multimodal Forth crossing at Queensferry to enhance the national and Edinburgh City Region economies;
  • to promote mixed use developments to achieve improved accessibility;
  • to support the provision of a Cross-Forth Ferry Service and associated infrastructure;
  • to promote routes for public transport rapid transit corridors and interchanges with other networks;
  • to support the provision of strategic transport improvements outwith Fife which support and improve Fife’s economy and accessibility, including the proposed Edinburgh Airport link;
  • to support the provision of strategic transport improvements within Fife including Cupar relief road, St Andrews link road, upgrading of the A92 and the Rosyth bypass; and
  • further consideration of transport link options for St Andrews to the rail network will be addressed through the review of the Local Transport Strategy.

Raising Aspirations

  • to identify and protect the land required for new educational facilities;
  • to work in partnership with St Andrews University to develop the Campus Plan through the Local Plan;
  • to work in partnership to support the development of Fife’s further and higher education sector;
  • to work with partners to support the development of vocational training and apprenticeships;
  • to encourage developers to use local labour and provide training and skills development/programmes to expand the skilled workforce in Fife;
  • to work with the private sector to grow the construction sector; and
  • to develop the case with partners for expansion in Higher Education and research capacity in Fife, particularly in Mid Fife.

Improving the Range and Quality of Housing Development

  • to raise the standard of quality and design in new development. To this end an Urban Design Guide for Fife has been published, which will be used to influence change;
  • to align the range of new housing, including single storey houses, to meet the needs of the population taking account of demographic changes;
  • to encourage imaginative solutions to increase density through good design and enhance the sense of community;
  • to deliver quality new affordable housing and investment to improve the standard of housing; and
  • to integrate higher density housing, where appropriate, with public transport hubs and town centres and to support new and improved public transport services to serve these developments.

Develop and Maintain Sustainable Communities

  • to deliver affordable housing as part of new development and to raise the overall quality of the housing stock;
  • to prioritise the development of brownfield sites where possible;
  • to focus strategic land allocations within Mid Fife, Dunfermline, Cupar and St Andrews which will provide community facilities, employment land and a choice of different house types and tenure;
  • to sustain jobs and improve accessibility in the rural areas and small communities; and
  • to implement the development of the Strategic Development Areas to deliver regeneration priorities in partnership with other public service providers and the private sector.

Safeguarding and Improving Fife’s Environment

  • to accelerate the use of appropriate brownfield, vacant and derelict land within settlements and to encourage the re-use of buildings;
  • to protect the landscape setting of the historic cores of Dunfermline and St Andrews through the introduction of Green Belt as part of a long-term land use planning strategy to direct planned growth to the most appropriate locations;
  • to protect and enhance the character and distinctiveness of Fife’s towns and villages;
  • to maintain, protect and enhance, where possible, Fife’s natural heritage, built and historic environment, water resources and air quality; and
  • to meet global challenges and opportunities, such as climate change, by encouraging the development and use of renewable energy technologies in both commercial and residential settings.

The Fife Structure Plan includes several references which are considered to be particularly relevant in terms of the Forth Replacement Crossing Study. These can be summarised as follows:

  • the potential to connect a light rail transit network to Edinburgh City and West Edinburgh will be accommodated should a new multi-modal crossing of the Forth be built;
  • the strategic development strategy will support the case for a new multi-modal crossing;
  • the principle of a further multi-modal Forth crossing is considered vitally important in the context of growing the national economy and those of Edinburgh and Fife. It is important for Fife’s economic and social inclusion agendas to achieve a further crossing; and
  • aspirations for a segregated public transport corridor through the Forth Bridgehead Area, including the existing Dunfermline Eastern Expansion area, with potential to link to a further Forth crossing.

The high-level expectations outlined in the Fife Structure Plan are summarised below.

Summary of High Level Expectations from Fife Structure Plan (Fife Council, April 2006):

  • Growing Fife’s Economy and Increasing its Population;
  • Improving Accessibility;
  • Raising Aspirations;
  • Improving the Range and Quality of Housing Development;
  • Develop and Maintain Sustainable Communities; and
  • Safeguarding and Improving Fife’s Environment.