Minutes - 20 September 2022 - NTS Delivery Board


  • Jenny Gilruth, Minister for Transport (Chair)
  • Bruce Kiloh, Head of Transport Planning, SPT
  • Derek Crichton, Director for Communities, Dumfries & Galloway Council, SOLACE
  • Michelle Quinn, Interim Chief Executive, Transport Scotland
  • Fiona Brown, Interim Director for Transport Strategy and Analysis, Transport Scotland


  • Anne Martin, Transport Scotland - presenting
  • Andy Park, Transport Scotland - presenting
  • Catherine Damen, COSLA – attending on behalf of Councillor Macgregor
  • Robert Nicol, COSLA – attending on behalf of Councillor Macgregor
  • Bethany Sharp, Transport Scotland – Board secretariat


  • Councillor Gail Macgregor, Convention of Scottish Local Authorities (CoSLA; Elected Member)
  • Nicola Gill, Manager of Public Transport in Operational Services, West Lothian Council, ATCO
  • Walter Scott, Chair of SCOTS and Service Leader - Roads & Transportation, Angus Council, SCOTS

Welcome and Introductions – Minister for Transport

The Chair welcomed members to the sixth meeting of the Delivery Board and noted that Councillor Gail Macgregor of COSLA – co-chair of the Board – was unable to attend due to Parliamentary Committee, however officials from COSLA were in attendance on her behalf.

Transport Scotland reported on two actions from the fifth Board meeting, held on 10 March 2022:

  • DB5-01: Transport Scotland to outline the selection process for NTS Peoples’ Panel membership.
    • Transport Scotland circulated this information after the previous meeting.
  • DB5-02: Transport Scotland to provide an update on the monitoring of the first NTS Delivery Plan at the next Board meeting. 
    • An update on monitoring of the Strategy will be provided at the next meeting, which is tentatively scheduled for January 2023.

Programme for Government (PfG) – Anne Martin

Members were advised that the PfG 2022-23, published on 6 September 2022, was substantially revised to focus on actions to support people and businesses through the worst cost crisis in living memory.

It was clarified that policy priorities not mentioned in the 2022/23 PfG are not necessarily being paused or stopped due to financial pressure. Last year’s PfG (2021/22), alongside the Bute House Agreement, set out the plans for the whole parliamentary term. These plans remain in place and the ambition to deliver them remains.

Transport commitments for 2022 to 2023 include:

  • Freezing ScotRail fares until March 2023
  • Completing the Fair Fares review
  • Working with third sector partners and local authorities to consider how best to provide free bus travel to asylum seekers and refugees including displaced people from Ukraine.
  • Further promoting free bus travel for those under 22
  • Introduce regulations to enable bus franchising and Bus Improvement Partnerships
  • Testing a new mobility and scrappage scheme to help low-income households

The Board noted the importance in maintaining and tracking the strategic direction of policy to align with the NTS priorities, as well as utilising the Board for raising emerging issues. 

Members agreed that maintaining flexibility is essential to achieve strategic aims. RTPs and local councils are continuing to work to support the delivery of these aims.

Members discussed the Fair Fares Review and cited examples in England that could be used for learning. Members of the Board offered further partnership working with Scottish Government to support the Fair Fares Review.

The Chair highlighted that over half of the population in Scotland now benefit from concessionary bus travel and over 21 million journeys have been made in the Under 22 free bus travel scheme. The Board agreed this was a great achievement and more should be done to raise the profile of good work across transport, recognising the wider financial challenges.

The Chair noted that some councils are already offering support for refugees and displaced people on bus travel and is keen to work closely with RTPs in this area.

Cost Crisis – Andy Park

Members noted that the ongoing cost of living crisis is compounded by the COVID-19 pandemic, Brexit implications and the Russian invasion of Ukraine.  Although GDP in Scotland has returned to pre-pandemic levels, inflation had reached record highs in June/July 2022 and transport, housing and household services continue to be impacted by ongoing energy costs.  Members discussed the high levels of car use despite record fuel prices.

Inflation is impacting producers and businesses, as well as consumers.  Wage rises have not kept pace with inflation and there are issues of staff availability across the labour market as we move into the winter months.

Members noted the Public Attitudes Survey (Wave 23) report, which reflects that car use has increased from pre-pandemic levels.

Members commented that there are lots of complexities but there needs to be more data-driven co-operation between Scottish Government, local government and partners to reflect on the delivery of policies during this crisis.

Members agreed that positive things have emerged, citing the one million weekly journeys now being made on the Under 22s free bus travel scheme.  Further promotion of this scheme and other travel incentives should be encouraged.

The Chair highlighted that since the Board last met, ScotRail is now under public ownership and there are further opportunities to encourage the public back to rail travel.  Members noted that working patterns have changed as a result of the pandemic, so more flexibility on fares for the changing market would be welcomed.  The Board agreed that the campaign to get back to people back onto public transport needs to continue.

Summary – Minister for Transport

The next Delivery Board meeting is expected to be held in early 2023.  It was agreed that this would be an in-person meeting and Board members will be contacted for agenda items in coming weeks.


DB6-01 - Transport Scotland

  • An update on monitoring and evaluation of the Strategy will be provided at the next meeting.

DB6-02 - Bruce Kiloh and Transport Scotland

  • RTPs and Scottish Government to work together and share findings on concessionary travel for Fair Fares Review.

DB6-03 - Bruce Kiloh and Transport Scotland

  • RTPs and Scottish Government to work together on concessionary travel for asylum seekers.

Published Date 8 Nov 2022 Type Topic