Minutes – 22 February 2023 - NTS Delivery Board

Board Attendees

  • Councillor Gail Macgregor, Convention of Scottish Local Authorities (COSLA; Elected Member) - Chair
  • Jenny Gilruth, Minister for Transport – Co-Chair
  • Bruce Kiloh, Head of Transport Planning, SPT
  • Derek Crichton, Director for Communities, Dumfries and Galloway Council, SOLACE
  • Ewan Wallace, Chief Officer, Aberdeenshire Council, SCOTS
  • Fiona Brown, Interim Director for Transport Strategy and Analysis, Transport Scotland


  • Nicola Gill, Association of Transport Co-ordinating Officers (ATCO), Manager of Public Transport in Operational Services, West Lothian Council

Supporting Officials

  • Phil McCluskey, Transport Scotland – presenting
  • Paul Sloan, Transport Scotland – presenting
  • Sharon Dickson, Transport Scotland – board secretariat
  • Bethany Sharp, Transport Scotland
  • Catherine Damen, COSLA
  • Robert Nicol, COSLA

Welcome and Introductions – Cllr Macgregor

  1. The Chair welcomed members to the seventh meeting of the Delivery Board at St Andrews House.

The Minister for Transport provided an update on achievements since the last meeting:

  1. STPR2 final summary report was published in December 2022 outlining 45 recommendations for transport infrastructure investment.
  1. Rail fares have been frozen until March 2023 as part of the 2022/23 Programme for Government. Commitment to remove peak fares to commence April 2023. Northern Isles Ferry Services fares frozen.
  1. Inverness Airport Rail Station opened as part of £42m investment connecting communities.
  1. Parliamentary debate around A9 safety measures took place 22 February.

Cllr Macgregor provided an update from COSLA:

  1. COSLA Environment and Economy Board has met twice since the May 2021 local elections and reaffirmed three main priorities: public transport, active travel, and electric vehicles.

Review of actions from last meeting – Sharon Dickson

  1. Transport Scotland reported on two actions from the sixth Board meeting, held on 20 September 2022:

 DB6-02: RTPs and Scottish Government to work together and share findings on concessionary travel for Fair Fares Review:

  • Transport Scotland and SPT have met on various occasions, most recently on 3 February, to discuss public transport services including development of options for potential Pathfinder Pilot projects that take action on cost and availability.

 DB6-03: RTPs and Scottish Government to work together on concessionary travel for asylum seekers:

  • RTPs and Scottish Government are in discussion to progress working together on concessionary travel for asylum seekers.

Climate Change Committee report – Scottish Emission Targets – Cllr Macgregor

  1. In December 2022, the Climate Change Committee published their report complimenting Scotland’s emissions reductions target but suggested a delivery plan would be required.
  1. The board noted councils have powers to run their own bus services however this is resource intensive. Announcement of additional funding to the private sector was mentioned however the Cost of Living crisis needs consideration.
  1. The board agreed cross-government involvement is needed to build and maintain an affordable public service and recognise that NTS priorities go beyond transport. Board asked to consider how local authorities can be empowered in this approach.
  1. The board recognises that NTS is at a relatively early stage in the 20 year cycle and SCOTS are keen to work closely with Transport Scotland, Local Authorities and RTPs to deliver outcomes.
  1. A change in approach is required to reflect new working patterns and travel behaviours. Data has been gathered looking at travel for commuting and leisure. Policies will differ between local authority areas.

Demand Management Research – Phil McCluskey

  1. Transport Scotland provided an update on the Demand Management research commissioned as part of the work to support the commitment to reduce car km by 20% by 2030.
  1. Two options discussed: national – fairest as burden is spread widely and would tackle longer journeys; local – point-loaded onto urban areas where journeys are more substitutable, modelling focussed on four largest urban areas (Dundee, Aberdeen, Glasgow and Edinburgh – though currently only the latter two are considering schemes).
  1. Research will be published in the coming months and help inform development of measures within the next Climate Change Plan. Work will progress towards a Demand Management Framework for 2025. Transport Scotland will continue to seek clarity from UK Government plans for replacement of motoring taxes.
  1. The board agreed that a shared narrative from community up to local, regional and national level is needed – all striving for the same thing. Also, recognise the urgency behind the introduction of such measures.
  1. COSLA and Minister agreed to write jointly to UKG Ministers on successor vehicle and fuel taxes.

Strathclyde Bus Strategy (Strategy and Programme Committee report) – Bruce Kiloh

  1. In developing their Regional Transport Strategy, SPT have identified concerns, further compounded by various impacts including Covid-19, thus have created a methodology for the development of a regional bus strategy.
  1. The development of the SPT bus strategy includes further investigation and appraisal of franchising however costs still to be considered.
  1. Work has started through the Bus Partnership Fund, reviewing funding at a regional level, and will feed into RTS. The aim is to complete this work within next year.

NTS monitoring and evaluation – Paul Sloan

  1. Framework developed in parallel with NTS priorities to capture impact focussing on outcome measures influencing travel behaviours.
  2. Outlines range of primary and secondary measures and provides analysis by protected characteristic, socioeconomic status and geography where available.
  3. New data collected through the framework includes perception of affordability of transport and transport spend; and journey times to basic services and to areas of employment.
  1. Board discussed incorporation of qualitative data such as case studies and agreed that this would be helpful for further monitoring and evaluation of the NTS.

Summary and next steps

  1. Board agreed that meeting in person was beneficial. The eighth meeting will be in person and chaired by the Minister for Transport. A date and agenda items will be confirmed in due course.

Published Date 29 Mar 2023 Type Topic